Sunday, 31 December 2006

Last Chance in 2006

Even as the hours wind down for the year 2006, we can take a moment to set things right. I'm so grateful time is of no consequence in heaven. Here, it can limit us significantly in our dreams and in our hopes. It can, however, help us in much the opposite way. With time constraints we are encouraged to get to things and to finish what we've begun.

I'm thinking the gift of time yet today is for you and me to do or say something significant that we've put off. A call to someone, an e-mail, a letter, or some communication of God's redeeming grace would be a grand thing in these last few minutes of this year. What is the Spirit encouraging you to do as you read this?

Psalms 31:14-16 (NIV)
14 But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, "You are my God."
15 My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.
16 Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.

Saturday, 30 December 2006

Twelve Apostles

I thought they were people too. Turns out that along the Great Ocean Road, the 12 Apostles are world famous stone islands on the southern shore of Australia. Originally known as the "sow and the piglets," no doubt the existing name gives these formations a little more significance.

They are beautiful and they stand out against the natural elements. One can begin to understand why they're called the 12 Apostles. If you have a chance to see them, go.

I'm still hooked on the wonder of God's creation. I notice that we're seeing some activity around the creation/evolution questions. Let me throw another iron in the fire. I believe God hasn't concluded His creation. Just imagine what He is doing in you.

Psalms 51:10 (NIV)
"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

Friday, 29 December 2006

Phillip Island

So Phillip Island is a great place to visit. It's probably a great place to live too. We visited the Koala Conservation, Seal Lookout and, of course, the Fairy Penguins. They were amazing. They marched (waddled) out of the ocean onto shore and to their dwellings in the grass. Some of them live 2 Kilometers on shore. We understand that over 1,000 of them came out that night, starting at about 9 pm - sunset.

As we watched and observed, we were overwhelmed with the reality that these creatures are the handiwork of God. There's absolutely no way they evolved to this practise, and anyone who suggests the possibility hasn't seen them in action.

Look around and see the glory of God presenting Himself to us in undeniable ways. That's what we are supposed to do too. Are the penguins more telling?

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)
"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ."

Monday, 25 December 2006

Happy Christmas!

John 1:14 (KJV)
"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

Sunday, 24 December 2006

Carols by Candlelight

This has been a great night at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. It's a great production and is publicised for the benefit of Vision Australia, a charity for the vision impaired.

The weather was a little uncooperative, but considering that I've been praying for rain, one cannot complain when it rains on your plans.

Most of the program was sacred music which we enjoyed thoroughly. They even sang a section of Handel's Messiah (Hallelujah Chorus). It has been a beautiful Christmas Eve.

Ephesians 5:19 (NIV)
"Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord"

Saturday, 23 December 2006


When you're traveling, one of the greatest disappointments is when the airlines misplaces your baggage. If travel was ever a thrill, it has morphed into a series of inconvenience, line - waiting, cramped seating, flight delaying factors that render it less than thrilling. Whatever thrill present is dashed when the long wait at the baggage carousel reveals nothing of yours and directly precedes another line at the missing baggage desk.

If you know me, you know that I am not a complainer, and intentionally look for the positive. What strikes me about air travel today is that the costs are very high and those that work in the industry attempt to make this a good experience. It's most likely in the volume that the pleasure turns. We'd probably have less to complain about if we cut back on our baggage.

Luke 10:4 (MSG)
"Travel light. Comb and toothbrush and no extra luggage. "Don't loiter and make small talk with everyone you meet along the way."

Friday, 22 December 2006


I have said here before that Australia is facing a severe drought. Just now it is raining and we are grateful. Thank you, Lord for that sweet moisture that drops from the clouds and begins to nourish the soil, the plant life, the wild life and the streams.

We would be happy for more. We do not intend to be greedy, only needy.

Hear our combined gratitude for rain in unison and in harmony with a land and a people whose throat is almost too parched to plead. We do so earnestly with every intention of giving you glory and honour. Thank you, Lord.

Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Wombat Divine

We looked at the beautiful displays in the windows of the Myer store on Bourke Street today. They're world class and very well done. At first I was a little taken back by the title. Then, I took in the story. To get to the point, the Wombat doesn't fit in the manger story anywhere, until he is selected to be the baby Jesus.

They've told the story...the whole story. We, each don't fit in the story until we realize God wants us to be like Jesus. He wants us to resemble the Saviour of the people of the world...and it's only possible because of the baby Jesus and the adult Jesus and the resurrected Jesus. Hallelujah!

Thank you Myer for getting it so right.

Philippians 2:5 (MSG)
"Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself."

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

The Ashes

I'm a recent convert to Cricket...the game, that is. Australia just won the Ashes back from England. (It's like the trophy) Of course, the match isn't over even though we already won. If you have to ask, you won't get it.

I see it as a blend of baseball and chess, because of the strategies that must be engaged to win. Yes, I know it takes five days to win a match, but it actually grabs you if you take a moment to understand and watch.

It is just a game. Isaiah has a comment about the ashes that makes eternal sense.

Isaiah 61:3 "...To give them beauty for ashes." We get the beauty of the Messiah, the Christ in place of the ashes of life. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

House Calls

There was a day that Doctors made house calls. I'm old enough to remember a Doctor coming to my house. I imagine that it would be pretty rare today, although I have not researched the matter here in Australia.

One of our jobs as Salvationists is to make house calls. There's no excuse for us not to. There's no excuse for officers and local officers not to make house calls. The faithful ones do it.

Our ministry towards drought relief is a "house call" ministry. It is the most effective way to reach families and independent people with the help they need. Is it too far of a stretch to understand that God has saved the people of the world by a house call? "The word became flesh and dwelt among us." Thank you, Lord for making a call to my house.

John 1:14 (MSG)
"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish."

Monday, 18 December 2006

Christmas shopping

Have you purchased all of your Christmas presents? We're getting close to Christmas, and well, we're running out of time. By now you've noticed that I'm including myself in the mob that still has shopping to do.

First, you make a list for whom you need to buy presents. Then you begin to write down what you want to get them. At some point, you need to reconcile how much money you have to spend, and then sort out how you'll buy what you want with the money you have.

One year we gave presents of things we cherished because we didn't have much money. If you asked our family, they might just remember that year as being very special. When in doubt, give yourself. It's what God wants.

Romans 12:1 (MSG)
"So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him."

Sunday, 17 December 2006

Inala Chapel

We made it back to Inala. This time to the chapel for Sunday morning meeting. The choir was on duty and sang magnificently. They even sang a bit from Handel's Messiah. That makes them a Hallelujah Chorus.

Captains Tim and Dabak Lynn are the officers assigned to the chapel. They do a good work and serve the Lord with gladness. Majors Jeff and Jeanette Philp were there to support the cause and were a blessing to us and all.

God bless the people of Inala Chapel. They are precious and deep in their faith. I believe we're blessed by the abundance of prayer that emanates from this fellowship.

Luke 2:20 (ASV)
"And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, even as it was spoken unto them."

Friday, 15 December 2006

Christmas Caroling

What a beautiful opportunity to spread the message of the gospel of Christ in Christmas Caroling. We met a group tonight from Doncaster Corps. They sounded good. They looked good. They were adding to the atmosphere of the season. They gave the message through the Christmas Carols that we heard the people around us sing.

Most Christmas Carols tell the story in deep theological terms, but terms we sing with enjoyment. Joy to the wold, the Lord is come. O little Town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie. O Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. These are great verses with great promise for all.

Luke 2:13-14 (ASV)
"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased."

Thursday, 14 December 2006


There comes a time at which we just have to say "I'm sorry." We cannot act as if we are holy if there is sin in our heart, nor can the Army be a holy Army if we act as if we are sinless and ignore what we know to be wrong.

I have read with interest TSA apology to Aboriginal people recently and applaud the act as an attempt at repentance. It wasn't simply a trendy idea or a popular and public way to appropriately ask forgiveness of a people and of God.

So why wouldn't we do the same where we have erred with individuals? Well, we do when it comes to offended residents of our children's homes in years past. It's about time that we searched the soul of the Army for where we have sinned and ask for forgiveness from people and from God. Lord, help us and forgive us from our sins.

2 Peter 3:9 (Wesley NT)
"The Lord is not slow concerning his promise (tho' some men count it slowness) but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Aussie Bush Fires

Tasmania fires
The fires have flared up significantly again. Grave fears for a very small town called Cornwall with 30-40 houses. Evacuations are being carried out in St Mary's, another nearby town which is under threat.

The Salvation Army has one crew providing catering services at Fingal. Another crew is on route to Scamander with 400 sandwich packs and 200 ration packs.

A replacement crew will be sent to Fingal in coming days.

Victoria fires
The Salvation Army has provided bedding and other relief supplies for 600-700 people thus far for many towns in North/North East and Gippsland areas.

We have trailers with material needs (bedding etc.) at Moe and Morwell, and Salvos Stores at Traralgon and Morwell have been advised that their assistance may be needed if predicted hot weather arrives again. Local shops, such as camping shops, Kmarts and supermarkets are being contacted to arrange 24 hour access where needed to meet immediate needs for evacuees such as baby supplies, towels etc. mattresses/camp beds, blankets, toilet paper and soap.

South Australia fires
Teams from Adelaide have been involved in one of our longest duration turn-outs for many years assisting at a fire in the Wakerie area. They were onsite for more than a week providing some 600 meals a day.

Luke 20:37-38 (MSG)
37 Even Moses exclaimed about resurrection at the burning bush, saying, 'God: God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob!'
38 God isn't the God of dead men, but of the living. To him all are alive."

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Getting the Job Done

Finishing well...very important. Sometimes we're really good at starting things. It's exciting and even fun...getting something going. We have the hope that what we started will amount to something and that it will have effectiveness.

Then there are times when we just don't get around to the finish line. Reasons abound and explanations for coming up short sound quite convincing...but the real satisfaction comes when you finish the job.

Were you able to finish something today? Then you know the satisfaction I'm writing about. Good for you. Otherwise, well, there's always tomorrow...right?

1 Corinthians 9:26 (MSG)
"I don't know about you, but I'm running hard for the finish line. I'm giving it everything I've got. No sloppy living for me!"

Monday, 11 December 2006

Korean Ministries

Calling all Koreans. Come to the love of God. Seek Him through the love of His Son, Jesus Christ. He wants you to know Him, and you can.

We at The Salvation Army believe that there is a place for you in God's family. Come and meet Captain Seong-soon Hwang at 17-23 Nelson Road, Box Hill, Victoria. You can call him at (03) 9890 2993. He will tell you the good news of the Bible, the Word of God. You just can't go wrong.

Cost? Free. Value? Priceless. Purpose? Life. When? Now. Who? You.

Go for it!

John 3:16 (MSG)
"This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life."

Sunday, 10 December 2006


The Hobart Citadel Corps is a wonderful expression of Salvationism in the great state of Tasmania. Carolyn and I were with them for two days this weekend which culminated in a blessed Holiness Meeting at the corps Sunday morning.

This first class and very large corps has been without corps officers since June 2006 and it is still fully functioning by the grace of God. Notice that I did not say they were without corps leaders. Both CSM Tony Foster and Assistant Corps Officers, Lieutenants Cherie and Chris Clarke have teamed up to advance the mission in these less than optimal circumstances. New Corps Officers are expected to arrive with the general change in January.

Thank you, Hobart Citadel. You make us all proud to be Salvationists.

John 17:19 (MSG)
"I'm consecrating myself for their sakes So they'll be truth-consecrated in their mission."

Toy Run

On Saturday we enjoyed being a part of the Toy Run in Hobart, Tasmania. TSA here, led by Majors Daddow, has an amazing annual event with over 7,000 motorcyclists who each bring a toy or two for us to give to children at Christmas. It is a great event.

SA soldiers, officers and volunteers all come to help in the process. It takes three trucks to gather the toys and food that's collected. The whole town turns out for the excitement and there are people everywhere in this Salamanca section of Hobart.

This is evidence of a good partnership doing a lot of good. Thank you bikers and thank you workers for your faithfulness in supporting the mission of God.

James 2:22 (MSG)
22 Isn't it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are "works of faith"?

Friday, 8 December 2006

The Handwork of God

Do you remember the old TV serial called the A-Team? It was an interesting show at the time. I recall that with all the shooting and violent type acts, no one ever died on the show...not even the bad guys. Another thing I remember was the phrase by Hannibal, "I love it when a plan comes together."

That's what I'm thinking about today. We're seeing God's incredible plan come together in aspects and from sources that are mind boggling. Hallelujah! He is crafting among us a great plan that will recast the mission of the Army in this territory with even wider influence.

Pray with me for the perfect people and the perfect support to do His glorious, perfect will.

Hebrews 11:40 (MSG)
"God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours."

Thursday, 7 December 2006


After study comes the tests. What's the point of studying if you're not facing a test? Why bother gaining information and experience if there is no use for it? Is this a wealth we put into our savings until a rainy day?

The test is where the study becomes focused and purposeful. The test is the fire that tempers the steel. Now what have you learned and what tests are you facing?

We need to put ourselves to the test. Have you learned of the love of God? Test it. Have you gained faith from your experiences and relationship with God? Test it. Have your observations caused you to have a certain understanding? Test it.

These tests will not result in failure...only more learning, ready for more testing.

1 Peter 1:7 (TLB)
"These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return."


There is no substitute for studying. We need students of the Word in TSA. We need students of prayer, evangelism and holiness. We need students of spiritual formation and leader development. We need students of culture and social policy. We need students of economics, architecture, construction, strategic thinking, compassion, counseling, administration, drug and alcohol addictions...etc...etc...

We are a dynamic army facing a changing world with layers and multiple dimensions of complexity, and even that is changing. It's as if the whole planet has Attention Deficit Disorder. That's OK. We serve the Lord who never changes and who loves us even as we morph into the 'interest de jour' of our journeys.

So let us be students, each one. Learning the ways of God to relate to the ways of the people to His glory and honor.

2 Timothy 2:15 (WesleyNT)
"Be diligent to present thyself unto God approved a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

Tough Decisions

Life is loaded with decisions. Many of us have developed habits in our day so as to minimize the decision making. These would be good habits. All of us, no matter how much we may try avoidance, end up making plenty of decisions throughout the day. Some are big and some don't seem to be.

What was the biggest decision you've made today? The day I was saved was the best decision and the day I committed in marriage was another really big (and beautiful) decision. Then there are tough decisions...decisions that have a huge impact and that we have to make without the best information.

I've learned to trust God. The decisions aren't necessarily easier, but the anxiety is greatly diminished.

Hebrews 10:23 (TEV)
"Let us hold on firmly to the hope we profess, because we can trust God to keep his promise."

Monday, 4 December 2006

Myer and The Spirit of Christmas 2006

I would imagine that there are many in Australia that collect the annual Christmas Music CD called the Spirit of Christmas, produced by the great Myer company. These recordings have been made since 1993 and have been generating the spirit of Christmas in people's hearts and in the way the income is used. The sale of these CD's this year goes to The Salvation Army's Children and Youth programs. This is a very good thing.

I salute the Myer folks and thank them for their well placed generosity. The donations given in this cause represent the spirit of Christmas, which is unconditional love. You take an important company, mix it with an important cause, and the outcome is a better place to live.

Thank God for the Salvos...and their friends.

Philippians 4:19 (MSG)
"You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus."

Sunday, 3 December 2006


The Heritage Centre is an incredible place to visit and to learn. Carolyn and I met with Lindsay Cox for a tour and a lesson in The Salvation Army. The museum and archives are chock full of wondrous stories and artifacts that tell the glory of God. This place is more about God's work among us than anything else.

Based on what we saw, the territory has an illustrious and dynamic heritage. It speaks of how we came to this point in time and shouts where we're going. We saw some great things, but as we were carefully and interestingly guided through the exhibits, I saw that God wants us to be all that and more. Do you think He's finished with us or determined that we are now on a level maintenance mode? I don't think so, and I'm prepared to live and lead as if He sees our today's and tomorrows with an increasing glory...His glory!

Come join our Army!

Revelation 14:7 (MSG)
7 He preached in a loud voice, "Fear God and give him glory! His hour of judgment has come! Worship the Maker of Heaven and earth, salt sea and fresh water!"

Saturday, 2 December 2006

All the people

Sometimes on Saturdays, we have a chance to get out and walk the streets a little. There are so many people around us. Do they know the Saviour? How will they ever know? Major Donna Peterson wrote a song by that title years ago. It's a beautiful song with close harmonies and is dedicated to General Bramwell Tillsley (Rtd.) who was her Training Principal.

The chorus reads,
If I don't have your joy to share with another;
If I don't have the peace that comes from above;
If I don't have a heart with compassion for others,
How will they ever know,
How will they ever know of your love?

The close harmonies of our walk in Jesus will bring the holy music to the hearts of the people.

Philippians 4:9 (MSG)
"Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."

Thursday, 30 November 2006

Most Important

What's most important to you? Someone? Something? A value, like truth? A feeling, like security? What do you really love?

If you had to choose one of these , which would you choose and what would you choose in the category?

What we consider most important is actually quite revealing.

Imagine now what's most important to God. If you go by what He is willing to sacrifice for what is important to Him, reconsider how important you are to Him. He sacrificed His son for you and me to have life. That makes us very important.

Now what does that mean to us? It makes me want to live up to His expectations. His expectations start with holiness.

1 Peter 1:15 (MSG)
"As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness."

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Box Hill Corps

Tonight, Carolyn and I were the guests of the great Box Hill Corps who conducted an impressive Leaders Appreciation Dinner. They were thanking the local officers and programme leaders who make the whole corps work. It is a blessed group and I believe they are honoured to have Major Winton Knop as their Corps Officer.

At the moment, they have five worship services each week and minister to a membership of 500-600 people. Hallelujah!

Our Army is blessed to have such great corps in the territory. God is blessing the ministries there with abundance and joy. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by. It'll be worth it.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (MSG)
"And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience.
13 Overwhelm them with appreciation and love! Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part."

Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Order 614 Graduation

Tonight was the Order 614 Graduation. We have some of the most amazing young adults in the Order. They passionately love the Lord and are making a difference in Melbourne. They work hard, study hard, and pray hard. They're winners and each one of them makes me proud.

Interested in serving Christ? Really serving Christ? Give a year...get a life! Contact Major Brendan Nottle here in Melbourne and get ready to live!

I'm thanking God tonight for the Order, for those who make it work, and those who were saved tonight to the glory of God.

Isaiah 61:4 (RSV)
"They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations."

Monday, 27 November 2006

Light Fm 89.9

Now this is a good radio station. I met a fine programming consultant there today, recording a few things. It turns out he was at the Commissioning meetings. You never know who's going to be at these great events. The consultant is well saved and witnessed to my heart. I thank God for him.

There were others there who weren't saved. Did we present the gospel in convincing ways? Was our witness compelling? Did we demonstrate the love of God in terms that were clear? I hope so. There were many at the mercy seat. Some of them did understand. Hallelujah!

We just have to be ready to share God's love in and especially out of the meetings. I want to be ready. Are you with me?

2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV)
"preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching."

Sunday, 26 November 2006


So the Army has twenty-eight new Captains to add to their rolls of commissioned officers. The Visionaries of the Australian Southern Territory proudly stepped up to the platform today in public declaration that they will serve the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind. We watched and listened to a message to them from General Shaw Clifton and they were blessed that General Eva Burrows (Rtd.) was present.

In the course of the meeting, the Holy Spirit revealed Himself to many of us to our delight. He reminded us of God's deep love for us and His hope that we might stand tall with the Visionaries in Salvation Army service. Hallelujah! Congratulations, Major Frank Daniels and the Training College staff who worked hard to bring us to this point.

Isaiah 6:8 (NRSV)
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I; send me!"

Saturday, 25 November 2006

Pray for Rain

Heads of Christian Churches meeting in Sydney last week acknowledged and supported the various calls from church groups and other Australians for prayer in this time of severe drought, including a National Day of Prayer on 26 November.

The heads of Churches called for all Australians to pray for:

  • desperately needed rain
  • those who are severely drought affected, and
  • commitment to responsibly care for all our natural resources.
It's serious... loss of crops, livelihoods, herds, flocks and human life. Please pray with us.

National Day of Prayer for Rain (click here for more information)

Isaiah 35:6 (NLT)

"The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will shout and sing! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the desert."

Friday, 24 November 2006

Silver Stars

The Fellowship of the Silver Star is a tremendous group of parents and mentors who have been instrumental in the development of a cadet. Each year on the commissioning weekend, these great people are recognized by the cadets and appropriately honored.

This year's class of Silver Star members are no exception to the many who have preceded them. They are blessed to see their cadet come to this point in their life and they should be. We've heard that it takes a village to raise a child. It takes that and more to raise a candidate for officership and see them through training. It's obvious that God is at work among us.

Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
"Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it."

Thursday, 23 November 2006


Thanksgiving is not just an American holiday. It's a way of life for those of us who know the grace of God first-hand. We're giving thanks for good friends who joined us tonight for a typical American Thanksgiving Dinner. The meal was fantastic and the fellowship, a blessing.

Carolyn asked everyone to give thanks to God for something in their life. Each expression was beautiful and genuine. God was glorified throughout the dinner. We're missing our family today immensely, but we are blessed to have so many new good friends throughout the territory and around the world. Hallelujah!

Psalms 30:4 (NASB77)
"Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name."

Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Covenant and War

The Visionaries are now a covenanted people. In the presence of God, the Training College staff and the Territorial Cabinet, they each affixed their signatures to a most holy covenant with God. They bind themselves to him in love and service in The Salvation Army. It's too much to do without the enabling grace of God.

Every Salvationist has made a deep commitment to God in the signing of the Articles of War. This pledge too is important in the life of every soldier.

When you put these together, you have an Army at war. Officers and soldiers alike in total allegiance to the Lord and fighting together to eradicate sin where ever we find it, especially in ourselves. Let us then face the enemy in the grace of our Lord and engage in holy battle. I believe we shall win!

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NASB)
"Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass."

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Every Day

Every day is a gift from God. What would you have done without today? There might have been some experiences, conversations or news you wouldn't have preferred, but when we look at our every day, we will see that there are parts of it that make us who we are right now.

So is it fate then that drives us through our days? Is it a collection of opportunities and casualties that form our lives? Do we think our own choices dictate all our eventualities? Our choices do have bearing, but the real designer of our lives is God. He has a plan from before the creation of the world. Our objective is to coincide our choices with His will.

This may seem absurdly basic, but we need to get this right...and we can. It's when we miss this reality that we begin to undervalue our days. Are we waiting for the important days to come? The most important day we will ever have is today. We will enjoy the providential blessings of God every day, when we understand that every day is His gift to us.

John 14:6 (KJV) "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Spring Celebration

The Western Victoria Division was visited by the Holy Spirit this weekend at their Spring Celebration. The location was Halls Gap. It was their 18th cosecutive gathering in this way at this place.

We prayed and believed. God visited and spoke. Hallelujah!

We can trust Him even more with the evidence of His love demonstrated by great meetings, wonderful fellowship, intense soul searching and lifetime commitments. Loved ones, listen to Him. Follow Him. serve Him with all your heart soul and mind. He will regenerate you as He did us in these days.

Psalms 51:10 (GW)
10 "Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me."

Friday, 17 November 2006

Prayers for Regeneration

In the Western part of Victoria, bush fires of a year ago destroyed large areas of land and threatened life as a result. This year, in the same area, Halls Gap, specifically, there is a hope for regeneration.

Commensurate with this hope for the land is the hope of SA leaders in this division, Majors Peter and Jennie Walker. They lead the troops this way in what is known as a Spring Celebration with the theme, "Regeneration." Carolyn and I are with them for the weekend tent meetings accessible to Salvationists and non-Salvationists alike.

This is a call for prayer throughout the weekend on behalf of those who will be here for these important gatherings. My prayer is: "Lord, bring it on!" I'm looking to Him to pour out His Spirit in an irrefutable, miraculous way. Hallelujah!

If you can't be there in person, why not join us in the presence of God for regeneration?

Titus 3:4-6 (ESV)
4 "But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,"

Thursday, 16 November 2006

Brunswick, Victoria

In the heart of the Melbourne Central Division you'll find a real Salvation Army. It's being led by Lieutenants Jason and Michelle Davies-Kildea and it has a remarkable place in the history of TSA. This was the corps band that went to war along with B/M Arthur Gulledge and who were promoted to glory when the ship they were aboard was sunk in WWII.

Today the corps is making history for it's extraordinary ministries to just about everybody in the neighborhood. Specific service to street people and employment programs for those hard to employ are complimented by a youth center that is sophisticated and effective. All this happens in the intentional atmosphere of leading them to Christ. Hallelujah!

Carolyn and I salute these amazing Salvationists, employees, volunteers and all.

Luke 10:27 (Darby)
27 "But he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thine understanding; and thy neighbour as thyself."

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

Victorian Royalty

Governor and Mrs. de Kretser of Victoria are wonderful people. They hosted our Melbourne Advisory Board Chairperson, Elizabeth Alexander and me today for a friendly visit. They are gracious and caring leaders of our community. I am blessed to have met them and share something of what TSA is doing in Victoria.

Partnerships are essential in our overall scope. I believe we can interface with government effectively while maintaing our spiritual foundations in an attempt to serve the community in God's name. With the Governor and his wife representing an important part of our government, we can, indeed, make this work.

Titus 3:1 (MSG)
1 "Remind the people to respect the government and be law-abiding, always ready to lend a helping hand."

Tuesday, 14 November 2006

Loose Change

We met with the Finance Conference tonight. They made me think of loose know, like in your pocket or purse, or on the dresser at home.

These are people who know that every penny is important. They're helping us not waste a cent.

These are people who are not loose with their change. They know that accountability is paramount in TSA. We need to be accountable to each other. We need to be accountable to God.

These people understand that we are in the ministry of change...changed the glory of God.

When I reach into my pocket, I'll be reminded of the provision of God in resources and in people like these good finance folk.

Luke 12:6-7 (MSG)
6 "What's the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one.
7 And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don't be intimidated by all this bully talk. You're worth more than a million canaries."

Monday, 13 November 2006

Spiritual Leadership

The Training College was the scene of a class today on Spiritual Leadership. With Commissioning just over a week away, there was no time to waste to get the subject across. I see the subject more from the spiritual side than from the leadership side. That is to say that the Spirit is a strong qualifier of spiritual leadership.

In the SA, we need Spiritual Leaders, not simply leaders. The intimate relationship with God from which spiritual leadership is born is absolutely essential. This holy relationship informs and shapes the leader in her or his role and responsibilities. In these days when leadership definitions abound, let us be mindful of the creative involvement of the Holy Spirit in those He calls to Spiritual Leadership.

I have confidence in our Visionairies preparing for Commissioning. We're about to release a good session of Spiritual Leaders to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 1:9 (MSG)
9 "God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that."

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Palmerston, Northern Territory

Just outside of Darwin is a vibrant corps capably led by Captains Gerald and Mairi Mitchell (with us in the photo). In spite of a break-in at the building the night before, the corps folk wouldn't stand for anyone stealing their joy. The holiness meeting was blessed by the Holy Spirit throughout.

Now if you're near Palmerston, go check out this corps. You'll be glad you did. They are a warm group of Salvationists and friends from the youngest to the oldest. The music was a delight as well. It was a good blend of the brass and the contemporary.

I'm glad we were there. The worship experience before God was a perfect way to complete our Top End weekend.

John 15:9-11 (CEV)
9 I have loved you, just as my Father has loved me. So remain faithful to my love for you.
10 If you obey me, I will keep loving you, just as my Father keeps loving me, because I have obeyed him.
11 I have told you this to make you as completely happy as I am.

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Darwin Christian Bookshop

A second day in Darwin produces another opportunity to dispense the gospel of love to the world through the Top End. Here we enjoyed being a part of the re-opening of the Christian Bookshop after it had been relocated to a better and larger location.

Lieutenant Lee-Ann Beasley is the store manager and her preparations for the day were exceptional. The opening was well attended and broadcast over a local Christian radio station. The broadcast was instrumental in getting the word out all morning.

It is a great store and a perfect opportunity for ministry. Being the only Christian Bookshop in Darwin makes it a needed resource for not only Salvationists but all believers who want the latest in resources, books, cards, music, cd's and videos to name only some of their items.

Getting the Word into the hearts and hands of people is our mission.

John 1:1-4 (AMP)
1 "IN THE beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
2 He was present originally with God.
3 All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being.
4 In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of men."

Friday, 10 November 2006

Northern Territory Regional Headquarters

Now this was a grand occasion. Carolyn and I enjoyed conducting the Dedication of the new RHQ for the Northern Territory Region in Darwin. Majors Ritchie and Gail Watson, along with their team should be pleased with the new offices that make way for the existing space to be used for needed direct service.

Many came from different segments of the community to see the new location and lend their support. This is not unusual up here in the Top End where they regularly coordinate community response to community needs.

The new digs are a statement to the Northern Territory that TSA is intensifying its commitment to God by serving the people in His name. We're here for the long term and mean to do as much as we can.

1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)
58 "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

Thursday, 9 November 2006


One of the great realities of God's provisions for us is in our relationships. We are blessed by our friends. They are gifts from God.

Now consider the expanding number of relationships that occur natuarally when you relocate, change jobs, schools or environments. These oppotunities often are associated with unexpected change in our lives, but they also happen when we make a concious move as well.

Our capacity to love and be loved has the potential to enlarge in these circumstances and fill up our lives even fuller. We can accept these gifts with joy, in any eventuality to the glory of God. Enjoy the changes in your life and grow as a child of God in the process.

John 15:13-15 (ASV)
13 "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you.
15 No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you."

Wednesday, 8 November 2006


G'Day Mate!

God has changed my life in the course of serving Him. Now appointed to one of the best territories in the world, the Australian Southern Territory, life has changed significantly for Carolyn and me. You may remember that we came from the USA Eastern Territory, another fine territory, and that we began our ministry in the wonderful country of Australia on 1st August.

I will attempt to glorify God in these posts as we go forward on the basis of about six postings per week and will hope to reveal His greatness and relevance to all, everywhere. He is the Lord of Lords. He is worthy of our total praise. His name is Jesus. He is the Son of God and the Saviour of the people of the world. His death on the cross of Calvary and His resurrection three days later, prove the unconditional love of God and victory over evil.

Please seek Him right now with all your heart. He loves you and always will.

Romans 5:6 (Phillips NT)
6 "And we can see that it was while we were powerless to help ourselves that Christ died for sinful men. In human experience it is a rare thing for one man to give his life for another, even if the latter be a good man, though there have been a few who have had the courage to do it. Yet the proof of God's amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us."