Sunday, 30 December 2007

Project 1:8 Rwanda 08

In January 2008 the two Australian territories are sending a mission team to serve in Rwanda. Preparations are already well underway and the Regional Commander of Rwanda is very excited at the prospect of having a team coming to serve with them for 2-3 weeks in January.

At this stage the team is likely to be involved in a week where they will be training some of the youth leaders of the Rwandan Salvos in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda.

In the second week we are hoping the team will be spending 3-4 days each at 2 local Salvo churches - building relationships with the community and being involved in their local programs.

This is an awesome opportunity for people the team who are all ready to take the next step in their faith and wanting to serve their community with passion and love. Please pray for them as they prepare for this important journey

Matthew 28:19 (MSG)
19 Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

New International Appointments

EFFECTIVE 1 MAY 2008

COMMISSIONER LINDA BOND, an officer of the Canada & Bermuda Territory currently serving as Director for Spiritual Life Development and International Ecumenical Relations at International Headquarters, is appointed as Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries, Australia Eastern Territory in succession to Commissioners Les and Coral Strong who will be retiring from active service. Commissioner Bond's successor will be announced in due course.

LT. COLONELS PETER AND JESSICA DALI, officers of the Kenya Territory currently serving respectively as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries in the Zimbabwe Territory, are appointed as command leaders of the Liberia Command, in succession to Majors Robert and Hester Dixon who will be taking up appointment responsibilities in their home territory, USA Eastern. Lt. Colonel Peter Dali is appointed as Officer Commanding, Liberia Command, and Lt. Colonel Jessica Dali as Command President of Women’s Ministries.

MAJORS LINDSAY AND LYNETTE ROWE, officers of the Canada & Bermuda Territory currently serving as divisional leaders in the Western Cape Division of the Southern Africa Territory, are appointed respectively as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries in the Zimbabwe Territory. They will take up their new appointment responsibilities with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

MAJOR FONA LING, an officer of the Hong Kong & Macau Command currently serving as Regional Commander, Taiwan Region, is to farewell from the region on 31 January 2008 and will receive an appointment in the Australia Southern Territory following furlough. From 1 February to 30 April 2008 COMMISSIONER VERNA SKINNER, a retired officer of the Australia Eastern Territory, is appointed to the interim leadership of the Taiwan Region.

MAJOR MELODY HANUNKA, previously announced (3 December 2007) as being appointed to the role of Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries, Zambia Territory, will now assume the role of Assistant Territorial President of Women’s Ministries in that territory. Major Saraphina Milambo will continue as Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries.

Genesis 31:49 (KJV)
49 And Mizpah; for he said, The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another.

Friday, 28 December 2007

Finishing Well

Continuing in a theme at this point of the year, how about finishing well? My father used to say that you could tell a good carpenter or craftsman by how he cleaned up when he was finished. It has to do with completing the job and finishing well.

This would be true about our everyday responsibilities. Have we completed our tasks and have we finished them appropriately? We should.

So the year is coming to a close. Finishing well?

Matthew 25:23 (NIV)
23 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Nearly Over

So the year 2007 is nearly over. In a couple of days we enter 2008. Is there something you wanted to get to this year? There's still some time left.

How about getting a jump on 2008? Why wait to get a start on something good to do?

Here are some ideas...read through the Bible. . .start a daily prayer time. . . intentionally tell someone about your faith. . . upgrade your tithe. . . go back to church. . . do a random act of kindness. . .

There's more. Use your imagination...for the good. Today's a good day to start.

Psalms 73:2 (MSG)
2 But I nearly missed it, missed seeing his goodness.

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Boxing Day

There seem to be several ideas as to why Boxing Day exists. It is a holiday and well placed after Christmas. There's a huge Cricket Match versus India and the stores went wild with sales and customers. For some, it was a day to relax. All the while, Salvos are on duty, serving God by serving mankind. The daily realities of many people make the holidays particularly difficult.

God sees us through any and all of these issues. Trusting Him needs to be our daily posture and joy. He delights in these connections.

Hebrews 13:5 (MSG)
5 Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,"

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Happy Christmas

John 1:14 (MSG)
14 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.

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Christmas Carols

There is a huge difference between Christmas Songs and Christmas Carols. The songs are those that are about the season and usually include references to Father Christmas, reindeer and the like. The carols speak to the message of Christmas and contain significant theology as well.

Of course, they are no replacement for scripture and in a number of cases, embellish the account and use poetic license to enhance the imagery of the story. It should call us to familiarise ourselves with the authentic account in the Word of God, even as we sing the carols we enjoy.

Have a happy Christmas.

Luke 2:13-14 (NIV)
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Christmas Caroling

As we travel through the shopping centres, we're seeing many carolers serving the Lord with music and collections. While the funds are clearly to help people in need, the caroling adds immensely to the season for everybody. The tunes are well played and the spirit of the representatives is quite positive.

Occasionally, I see them engage in conversation with shoppers and believe it to be a way to lead so many to Christ. We do so in the way we greet others and by the Christ-like demeanor and witness. For many people, it's a start on their journey to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. That will be great. God is present and a part of our holy relationships.

Psalms 144:9 (NIV)
9 I will sing a new song to you, O God; on the ten-stringed lyre I will make music to you,

Friday, 21 December 2007

Good Plan

We need to recognise a good plan when we see one. How would we know it? I'd suggest that we can know and go for it with confidence.

1. Is it consistent with the plan of God?
2. Is it aligned with our mission?
3. Does it have reasonable potential?
4. Does it come from someone you trust?
5. Is there a better way?

Depending on the plan there would be other qualifiers you might ask. I want to encourage you to go with the good plans. They don't exactly come that often. Try to say yes and make it happen.

1 Kings 18:24 (MSG)
24 Then you pray to your gods and I'll pray to God. The god who answers with fire will prove to be, in fact, God." All the people agreed: "A good plan—do it!"

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Forgiveness

What is it that makes forgiveness so hard? Do you suppose it's our ego? Forgiveness can be even more complicated when a loved one has been offended and victimised. In these cases, it's less of our ego and more of our pain for another.

Now let me ask what good does being unforgiving do? Do we derive some satisfaction that we hold our position and don't give in to the offender?

What about forgiving ourselves? We can be pretty hard on ourselves by this approach.

Thank the Lord that He has forgiven us for the asking and gave His Son to death to do so. God extends His forgiveness to us before we even show an interest in Him and His provision.

Matthew 6:12 (GW)
12 Forgive us as we forgive others.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Full Day

Why waste a day? Take full advantage of what God has given you and give it your best. This is way more than simply a philosophical statement. I've heard it said, "life is too short to worry about the details." That is far from what I'm writing about.

Life is not intended for a default or fallback approach. We are made to make the most of our days and we can in the strength of the Lord. In His name we don't waste our hours with unfruitful vanity. We have the opportunity to be purposeful and effectual throughout the days, weeks and years.

Let them say, "this person lived life to the fullest." Let that mean that you are fully engaged in right living called holiness.

1 Corinthians 1:30 (MSG)
30 Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

God wins

Let there be no doubt in your mind, God is winning. He is constantly involved in our lives and pursuing us for our best. He stays with us where nothing can cause separation. Look around you and see Him at work.

I've seen Him speak to faithful servants today and watched His Spirit move through them in their minds and in their souls. When this happens, God wins.

When Jesus died on the cross and rose to new life in three days, God won. Our daily journey goes to prove His victory in the daily occurances. He wants to show you, personally.

1 John 5:5 (MSG)
5 The person who wins out over the world's ways is simply the one who believes Jesus is the Son of God.

Monday, 17 December 2007

Different Perspectives

You can go through the day hearing all types of ideas about life and what God expects of us. It is amazing to me how we tend to see the same things so differently. An interesting measure of the veracity of the commentator is the presence of God in their perspective. Is the grace of God evident?

I have a concern about our need to be judgmental about each other. Is it because we are so dedicated to the truth that we cannot bear hearing or observing anything we believe to be off the mark? Here's where I cannot take the liberty to become judgmental about those who are judgmental.

Let the point be our resolve to depend upon the Word of God to clarify our thinking when we have our differences...and be marked by the grace of God.

Ephesians 4:2-3 (MSG)
2 And mark that you do this with humility and discipline—not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love,
3 alert at noticing differences and quick at mending fences.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Love means Connecting

God is love.

He calls us to love Him and others.

It starts with getting to know each other. How about their name? How about their interests? How about what they do for a living? The love God speaks of flows from these connections and more.

How about your neighbours? How about the people in your corps or work environment? school?

If we would only start with the people we know and then get to know a few more people, we'd make astounding progress. Hallelujah!

1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Christmas Concert

Tonight in Ivanhoe, the Melbourne Staff Band and The Idea of North gave a Christmas Concert to a house full of appreciative attenders. We came to the night concert. There was also one in the afternoon. The Band was superb as usual under the baton of B/m Ken Waterworth.

The Idea of North is an acapella quartet of extraordinary quality and musicianship. Two women and two men make up the group that is absolutely top shelf. I understand they've been performing as a group for over ten years.

The Christmas music is a delight and worth listening to every word. There's great theology in the carols.

Luke 2:14 (NIV)
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

Friday, 14 December 2007

Mo' Christmas

The THQ Christmas party occurred this week. Thanks to all who made it a success. We are blessed with our people. There's joy in The Salvation Army. Bridgehaven is a residence for women in rehabilitation over drugs and alcohol. Some of the women are there with their children as well. The Christmas programme there was sensational. They had a brass ensemble, magician, two commissioners, father Christmas and a partridge in a pear tree. This is a great centre with a deeply committed team at work.

Today, we found ourselves at the St. Kilda Crisis Centre and the 614 New Life Centre. Do you remember that all of us in the ministry of TSA are Salvos? I'm convinced more than ever.

The next stop was a visit to the Aboriginal Cultural Centre - Narana. This, of course is where Salvationist Vince Ross works and where members of our Indigenous People's Committee met to visit this tremendous place and have a yarn about our role in the territory. We have much to do in this area.

The day concluded with a visit to two of our finest corps officers in their home. They are wonderful people with a clear understanding of their calling and mission.

God is blessing the territory with fantastic corps officers, social programme officers and employees, soldiers, volunteers and donors. This is all to support and worship the baby born in Bethlehem and laid in a manger.

Matthew 2:6 (NIV)
6 "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'"

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Open Blog to David

David,

You know who you are. You're a seeker of God, although you don't admit to it. You see, we all are. The vacuum in your soul is the evidence of what I am saying. Please come to Him now while you still have the opportunity. Life is too fleeting and fragile to wait another minute. His joy is available to you for the asking. You can connect right now. God loves you. His Son died and went to hell in your place so you wouldn't have to. His resurrection in three days is living proof of His authority to give you life.

You know that when you post derogatory comments I remove them from the blog. The purpose of this blog is to declare the love of God, affirm people on their journey and be an open portal to me. When anything posted is inconsistent with those objectives, I will consistently remove them.

Can you contact me with a return address so that we may have a proper opportunity to consider what's on your mind and how God can bring clarity?

I also know you have commented on other Salvo blogs. If one of those friends can help us to connect, I would be grateful.

Thank you, Lord, for David. May he see your grace.

Romans 5:8 (NIV)
8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Prayer Warriors

A prayer warrior contacted me today with her understanding of where we are and where we are going in the territory. She confirms the bright future that God has planned for us. He's amazing in the way He holds us and lifts us in His presence. He has shown us His favour throughout the years and recently in the Connections experiences. Hallelujah!

What is He saying to you about the days ahead? He is leading you and me to His grace and the revelation of His power among us. Drop to your knees. Expect the best. He only gives what is perfect for us. Yes.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV)
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Connecting

Ideas are flowing in as to how we can better connect going forward. We have quite an assortment of suggestions to consider. I'm also hoping that divisions, corps, social programmes and other groups will form to gain from what we've learned and can apply. Soon, a DVD set of the meetings and all will be available for those who weren't able to be there. You can also go to the THQ website and view the meetings if you'd like. I've even been known to refer to comments given on this blog.

We intend to fully review each and every constructive thought to honour God in our Army. These are exciting days. These are new days.

1 John 3:3 (MSG)
3 All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus' life as a model for our own.

Monday, 10 December 2007

Christmas Season

Today was a banner day in the Christmas Season. The Staff Band played in a Christmas Programme at the Hamer Hall. They were terrific. The Veteran's Band played a programme at the Town Hall. I wasn't able to stay for their programme, but the crowd was amazing and the band is always superior.

My next stop was at the 614 New Life Centre where the place is oozing with the love of Christ, and then to two separate advisory board members offices for personal meetings. In case you think the day ended from there, not so my friend. I was fortunate to connect at Flinders Station and witness the ministry of Captain Jason Davies-Kildea and musical partner for their duet of Christmas Carols. Well done.

In the evening, Carolyn and I went with a choice family to the presentation of the Seventh Day Adventist Churches, "The Road to Bethlehem." It was terrific and a blessing to be with our friends and to consider the birth of Christ.

This is why I love the Christmas Season. You can be reminded of God's love over and over again. Hallelujah!

Matthew 1:23 (NIV)
23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."

Sunday, 9 December 2007

God is seeking you

The Scriptures declare it. The love of God proves it and the plan of God includes it. God is seeking you. Not aware of His love? Look around you and you will see how He is reaching out to you. Read His word and learn first hand how He shows His love to you before you have to do anything.

Along the journey and down the road? He still pursues you to experience His fullness and holiness. There's even more for you in the future. As our days add to our lives, so does His provision of love increase moment by moment. Now meet Him where you are and be prepared to know even more peace and joy and hope than you would imagine. Hallelujah!

Psalms 41:2 (MSG)
2 God looks after us all, makes us robust with life— Lucky to be in the land, we're free from enemy worries.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Giving Thanks

With Connections pressing upon us, our celebration of the American holiday Thanksgiving was put on hold. Today we celebrated with some close friends, complete with Turkey and all the trimmings. With the newly set up Christmas tree and the food cooking, our house smelled glorious.

It was all worth it. We enjoyed the food, the conversation and the fellowship. It was a gift from God. Following the desert, we went around the table to express our gratitude to God from our unique perspectives. He was acknowledged for everything from the food to family to present circumstance and for life itself. We have much to be thankful for. He has provided abundantly. Hallelujah!

Revelation 7:12 (NIV)
12 saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"

Friday, 7 December 2007

Grace of God

Let there be no doubt in your mind of the beautiful grace of God. His unconditional love is an excellent example to us of His most penetrating power. That is the power to change hearts. All we need is to receive His love and we will know His grace...and forgiveness...and renewal.

Now consider that this holy relationship continues forever.

Remain in Him and He remains in you.

There is nothing better. Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Generosity

There are some pretty terrific people out there being used by God in mighty ways. From the smallest donor to the largest, we are fortunate to have the hand of God upon us to be the recipients of resources from these generous people.

Occasionally I have the privilege to meet these God led people. I am amazed with each one who has such confidence in The Salvation Army to share their hard earned money with us. Hallelujah!

God bless them each. We are grateful to you for them.

Philippians 4:12 (NIV)
12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Connections Candidates

We read and prayed through the list of Candidates for officership which indicated their interest at Connections. There were 45 in all. Hallelujah! Everyone is precious and will demand individual consideration. May the process be one of holy discovery and joy.

I'm grateful to God for everyone at Connections and throughout the territory who will say to God, "I'll do what you want." From Junior Soldiers to the most senior officers, it's the right answer for today and the right answer forever.

1 John 2:17 (MSG)
17 The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Northern Victoria Division

With Lieutenant Colonel Jocelyn Knapp and Major Cilla Bone farewelling soon, their divisional farewell meeting was tonight at the Bendigo Corps. The hall was packed and the crowd's responsiveness to these leaders was strong and sweet. In their roles they have demonstrated effective female ministry, competent team ministry and committed leadership.

We are grateful to God for them and look forward to their new scope of influence throughout the territory.

1 Corinthians 3:7 (MSG)
7 It's not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center of this process but God, who makes things grow.

Monday, 3 December 2007

SABAV

Before tonight, I didn't know what that meant either. It stands for Salvation Army Basketball Association Victoria. There are 37 teams and hundreds of young people involved in male and female basketball competition. The award banquet was tonight where trophies were given to deserving players. Lt. Graeme Mawson organised the event and had much to do with the leagues. Good work.

So is this something we should spend energy doing? Absolutely. Good experience in a healthy exercise, mixing Salvo youth with many who are unfamiliar with the Christian context. I have no doubt that God is honoured in these activities. Fun is still a part of God's plan.

1 John 1:4 (MSG)
4 Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this, too. Your joy will double our joy!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Captain June Knop

One of the newly commissioned Captains gave the message at Box Hill Corps today. She is Captain June Knop and she gave a great message. With confidence, good preparation and a pure heart, she spoke to us from the Word of God on this first Sunday of Advent.

Captain Knop is one of the people that convince me that we have a new day in the territory. She, and her associate Heralds of the Good News give us reason to celebrate God's active interest in who we are and what we're doing. She's a wonderful representative of our Lord.

Isaiah 61:1 (NIV)
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Lt. Colonels John and Judith Jeffrey

Lt. Colonels John and Judith Jeffrey completed their "active" officership yesterday. We were with them as they left the office to head for home. As you know, Judith has been the Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries and John has been the Chief Secretary of our great Australia Southern Territory. They have served well and deserve our gratitude.

They, of course would redirect our thanks to God who has sustained them through the years. If you're looking for examples of how God works excellently through His children, look no further than the Jeffreys. Know too that retirement will not cease their ministry, only reshape it.

Thank you Lord, for these wonderful people.

Proverbs 12:14 (MSG)
14 Well-spoken words bring satisfaction; well-done work has its own reward.

Friday, 30 November 2007

General Eva Burrows (Rtd.)

General Burrows was presented tonight with the William Wilburforce Award for her excellence in compassion for the marginalised. She's not only a great representative, but her words were spot on. She reached the crowd and encouraged us all to follow God in our service.

God bless General Burrows.

God bless the Salvation Army...in our new day...

1 Thessalonians 5:23 (TLB)
23 May the God of peace himself make you entirely pure and devoted to God; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept strong and blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus Christ comes back again.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

What God is teaching me ...

Of the many things we're learning through Connections 07, I want to share one of the things God is telling me.

In the course of preparations for Connections, God led me to pray fervently, deeply and with high expectations. He, of course, more than met our expectations and anointed us beyond our imagination. Hallelujah!

God is saying to me, why not exercise that same faith on an every Sunday (and everyday basis)? Did you only look to Me for the impact of the event or that you were in one place together as a territory? He is challenging me (and us) with the same expectancy and faith this week as we exercised going into last week. We don't need to be together in one place to realise the incendiary presence of God.

I hope you're with me on this. Knowing what we know from what God is doing through Connections, let us approach Him with magnificent holy expectation this week too. When we do, we are well on our way towards His way. Send the fire!

Acts 2:17 (NIV)
17 "'In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Post Connections

There's much going on

...new blogs on the connections site

...the video feeds are there as well to view three of the meetings

...there is an action plan as well.

Reports are coming in of different approaches to maximise connections. Hallelujah!

John 15:17 (NIV)
17 This is my command: Love each other.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Moving Forward

In gratitude to God, we have much to do going forward. It will be a delight and a joy to serve God in the context of a new day. How much is changing and how much need not change?

Where do you see it? Willing to host a forum to discuss what we have learned? You don't need permission.

Let me know.

John 15:7 (NIV)
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

Monday, 26 November 2007

Monday Connections

The meetings are over but the work continues. Please hold on to what God said to us this weekend. We simply must act on it to glorify God.

Many have commented on the experience. We need local forums organised to draw together the thoughts, concerns and plans for us to follow God forward. Hallelujah!

John 15:16 (NIV)
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

Sunday Connections

The Heralds of the Good News are commissioned officers in The Salvation Army. Hallelujah!

The whole day was anointed by God. Hallelujah!

He connected with us...Let's go forward in Him! Hallelujah!

"Stay joined to me and I will stay joined to you." John 15: 4

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Saturday Connections

Community Conference - This conference continued with more stimulating presenters. The exhibit hall was fantastic. The prayer room beautiful. Hallelujah

The Social Justice Parade was amazing with an estimated 3,000 descending upon Federation Square. There was an ocean of Salvos at the square for the Social Justice Rally.

The Kids Connection Programme was sensational and we were leaving just after the Youth Concert got under way. They'll still be out there for another hour and fifteen minutes.

We're looking forward to great meetings tomorrow. Bring it on, Lord.

Philippians 4:4 (NIV)
4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Friday Connections

Community Conference - relevant subjects, well done and worthwhile.

Kingdom Connections Meeting - Thank you Holy Spirit.

"Remain in me and I will remain in you." John 15: 4

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Thursday Connections

Officers' Councils were a blessing from God. The altars were formed in a shape of a cross where many of our brothers and sisters knelt to receive the grace of our Lord.

The Valedictory Service was as well an inspired opportunity to thank the Lord for His provision to the Cadets and Lieutenants to be commissioned.

Hallelujah!

Leviticus 26:12 (GW)
12 So I will live among you and be your God, and you will be my people.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Covenant Service

The Covenant Service was a high holy moment today at the Training College. God confirmed His will for 29 individuals who responded with confidence in Him and conviction on their souls. This is an historic moment and one that will mark the territory. We are so fortunate to have these individuals in the ministry.

I believe He is calling many more. These 29 will do their part and I believe thousands upon thousands will come to Christ in their ministries in years to come. Is He calling you? Are you ready? I know a group of people today who understand the provision of God in the pursuit of following Him. Should you be included? Don't hold back.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (GW)
24 The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Prayer

Lord, God, in Jesus name I come to you to thank you for your grace, provision and love. You are the source of my life and of our beloved Army. In you we find fullness of joy, hope and peace. I worship you with my heart, my life and all. I only want to do your will and bring honour to you.

Thank you for the opportunity to connect with you this week in our celebration of your presence known as Connections 07. You have led us in this direction for your glory and we pledge to seek you in spirit and in truth. Please hear our collective hearts and draw us together for an out-pouring of your fullness and power to your delight. We want to be recipients of your love that will change us and enlarge our capacity and vision and witness.

Before you ask, Lord, our answer is yes. Hallelujah! Bring it on!

Acts 2:2-3 (MSG)
2 Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building.
3 Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks..."

Monday, 19 November 2007

What would you do differently?

If you knew that God was about to reach into your heart and fill it with overflowing love, what would you do differently? What would you wear? Who would you want to be with you? Would you spend the day reading the Bible and seeking God on your knees? Would you cancel your appointments in anticipation? Would you be excited?

Give thought to the matter on the way to Connections. Oh, it's not the event that will draw God among us, it's your heart. When you and I prepare to meet with Him, His Word tells us that He's ready...and an encounter with Him will thrill your soul. Hallelujah!

Come and bring your ready heart.

1 John 2:28 (MSG)
28 And now, children, stay with Christ. Live deeply in Christ. Then we'll be ready for him when he appears, ready to receive him with open arms, with no cause for red-faced guilt or lame excuses when he arrives.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Connections - Everyone's Invited

The first signal to understand about Connections is in the area of inclusivity. That is to say, everyone's invited. Everyone's invited to come with us in our journey to join with Jesus in what we do to His glory. I see our mission as including Salvationists, employees, volunteers and others. Imagine the impact for God when we work together with mission focus and united energies.

In this process, we cannot compromise the gospel or it's primary place in our work. This is part of what we will learn at Connections. The anticipation is building and I'm expecting an extraordinary work among us. Hallelujah!

Ephesians 1:13 (NIV)
13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Connections - Officers' Councils

We're anticipating the largest gathering of officers in many years with the Connections events. Connecting between officers is essential to our stability and future. Although only one group of many getting together for the weekend, their combined commitment speaks of a force to be reckoned with. The enemy is not happy with us.

Pray for us. Come with a sense of urgency and holy expectation for the revealed presence of God among us. We come from different places in the journey and from different appointments with differing experiences. God still wants us to meet in one accord and we know what can come of that. Active or retired, our officers are vitally important to the movement. I'm looking forward to the engagement. Hallelujah!

Acts 2:1 (KJV)
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Preparations

We are fully engaged in preparations for Connections 07. The announcement of the availability of Simulcasting on the internet was made today. Basically, you go to our territorial website and click through the Connections banners to find it. I understand you can test how it works by next Tuesday. The meetings this will include are the Friday night and Sunday meetings. Times and all are listed on the website.

I also believe we should be preparing for a new movement of the Holy Spirit among us. He desires that we connect with Him intimately and that His love will be revealed by our connections with each other including our neighbours. Get ready and plan to be there for everything. Don't miss out on what God has for us. Hallelujah!

2 Peter 3:12 (MSG)
12 Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival. The galaxies will burn up and the elements melt down that day—

Thursday, 15 November 2007

New Friends

I met three more new brothers in Christ today. God sends people our way for just this reason. I'm beginning to see that every encounter has enormous potential for learning, encouragement, and hope. When this happens, we need to be on the look out for what God is doing. Do we believe He's interested in every area of our life? Then we should expect Him.

Just think about your journey today. Who did God add to your life? Why? From Him, it will always be for your good. That's the love of God. Hallelujah!

Revelation 21:5 (MSG)
5 The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate."

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Youth Homelessness

Youth homelessness is a serious present reality in this world and in this country. In the state of Victoria, there are an estimated 6,000 homeless youth. This is a horrible statement about our society and even more terrible for the youth and their families. This lifestyle only has hard consequences.

TSA is committed to help these young people recover from whatever issues have taken them to the streets. We can help and we must. Can we start in prayer? Our every effort will be advanced in this approach. Then we will be in the right mind and soul to really help. God cares for each of these precious ones. They need Him and we know how to make the connection. God is counting on us.

James 5:11 (MSG)
11 What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You've heard, of course, of Job's staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That's because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Bean Counters

We met with the group that used to be known as bean counters. We don't use the phrase any more that I know about because it tends to sound derogatory. They are, in fact, our finance people in the territory. They're all good people and important to the mission. Our accountability is precious to our integrity.

We came away from them with a good sense that we are in good hands with their support. There was a time when this crowd would have been dominated by officers. At the present, it is dominated by professional employees. Our need to professionalise and use officers elsewhere has moved us in this direction. We remain in good shape as a result. Pray that they would each share in the total mission of TSA that comes from a healthy relationship with Christ.

Proverbs 22:21 (MSG)
21 Believe me—these are truths that work, and will keep you accountable to those who sent you.

Monday, 12 November 2007

Heralds of the Good News

This session of Cadets and Lieutenants are ready for the battle. Their classes are about over and they're prepared to step full on into the front line to win the world for Jesus. They've been trained by the best. Our Training College is second to none and our Lieutenants have been mentored and coached by some of the finest officers in The Salvation Army.

With Commissioning only a fortnight away, my heart is swelling with leadership pride in each of these faithful ones who have given their lives to Jesus and are following Him with everything they are and have. Hallelujah!

Come to Connections to witness this incredible moment in our history, when these Heralds are ordained and commissioned to serve as officers in our territory. Be prepared to listen to God, yourself. We need more to tell of His glory and love.

Luke 1:17 (MSG)
17 He will herald God's arrival in the style and strength of Elijah, soften the hearts of parents to children, and kindle devout understanding among hardened skeptics—he'll get the people ready for God."

Sunday, 11 November 2007

The Answer is Love

Having trouble with your family? The answer is love.
Having trouble with a person at work? The answer is love.
How about a problem at the corps? The answer is love.
How do I lead someone to Christ? The answer is love.
What must I do to be like Jesus? The answer is love.
How do I mend a relationship? The answer is love.
How do I raise my children? The answer is love.
How do I relate to my aging parents? The answer is love.
What can be done about world peace? The answer is love.
What would make us most proud about our children? The answer is love.
How can I serve God better? The answer is love.
What does He expect of me? The answer is love.
Got the message?

1 John 4:16 (MSG)
16 We know it so well, we've embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us.

Friday, 9 November 2007

New Things

Tonight at St. Kilda Pier we saw Fairy Penguins, a star fish, and a banjo shark. We also recognised friends we know and love. Altogether, it was a good night.

God gives us an abundance of new things and experiences on a regular basis. We need to be aware of what's around us so we can actually see, and in the case of the penguins, hear them.

Thank you, Lord for the fresh experiences in life. We look forward to tomorrow where we can witness the evidence of your love and provision in new things and in new ways. Hallelujah!

Colossians 3:1 (MSG)
1 So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

World Youth Convention

The General is pleased to announced his decision that a World Youth Convention will be held in Sweden during 2010. The date, location and other details will be announced in due course.

In connection with this youth-focused global event, the General has appointed Colonel Birgitte Brekke as World Youth Convention Organizer, effective 14 January 2008. Colonel Brekke's rich international Salvation Army service renders her eminently suited to the planning and preparation for this significant event.

So let's get ready and think about how we'll be represented at this one. Together, we can begin to pray about how God will stir our youth to His honour and glory. Hallelujah!

Amos 2:11 (MSG)
11 I raised up some of your young men to be prophets, set aside your best youth for training in holiness. Isn't this so, Israel?" God's Decree.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Prayer for General Shaw Clifton

The General has requested that I share with you all the following information concerning his health.

As a result of recent medical tests a cancer has been diagnosed. The doctors believe that it has been found early and is operable. They therefore wish the General to undergo further tests, then some courses of chemotherapy, and eventual surgery.

All of this will take several months. The doctors have advised the General to remain within the United Kingdom between now and the middle of next year in order to complete all aspects of testing and treatment, including the surgery and recovery period.

It follows that all overseas travel commitments made by the General and Commissioner Clifton between now and the end of June 2008 are cancelled. Further contact on this aspect will be made with affected territories by the office of the General.

The International Conference of Leaders planned for May 2008 in Nairobi will now be postponed. Further information on this will reach you in due course.

Apart from international travel, the General will continue to carry out all the normal functions of his office.

I know that you will uphold the General and Commissioner Helen Clifton through prayer and faith in the months ahead.

God bless you all.

Yours in service,

Robin Dunster
CHIEF OF THE STAFF

Philippians 1:4 (MSG)
4 Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Surprises

Can you imagine your life without surprises? I don't think I want to.

A common expression among leaders to subordinates is, "I don't like surprises." I've learned that I like surprises. In the work of God, things can be predictable, so surprises speak to a spark of creative imagination and hope beyond what we already know.

Surprise your corps officer by leading someone to Christ. Give your boss a thrill by presenting something constructive out of the clear blue. Shock your neighbour by helping them do something they haven't asked you to do. Call a friend you haven't spoken to in a long while.

Surprises can contain the joy of Jesus, especially when you're trusting Him.

Ephesians 3:7 (MSG)
7 This is my life work: helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details.

Monday, 5 November 2007

Communicating

You can want to communicate with someone all you want, but there are a few factors that remain essential to make it happen. First, you have to select a medium. That includes person to person, phone, email, and letters. Second, you should have something to say. Third, you deliver the message. Then there is the all important step of the recipient receiving. If the machine isn't on, the message will never get through. How about opening up the mail file or answering the phone? These too are required for the communicating to take place.

Now communicating really includes a response, not just the receiving and here we go again. Perhaps that explains why we don't communicate well.

Of course, with God, communicating is made right. He's always with us and not only receives the message, but fully understands what we really mean. On the other side of the coin is the necessity of us keeping our hearts open to hear what He is communicating. Let me remind you that it starts with love.

Romans 5:8 (MSG)
8 But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Trusting the Lord

Do you trust the Lord? How much? Completely? Comprehensively? Consistently?

Please do.

He loves you with His everlasting life and desires that you simply love Him in return.
Love trusts.

He calls you to share in His glory...that requires that we share in His mission.
Partners trust.

He opens His heart for you to know Him...that involves every part of your life.
Friends trust.

He abides with you to keep you company and to comfort you and to empower you.
Followers trust.

Please do trust the Lord.

Micah 7:7 (CEV)
7 But I trust the Lord God to save me, and I will wait for him to answer my prayer.

Friday, 2 November 2007

World Services

This international Salvation Army is clear evidence of the hand of God upon it. Did you know that we're now in 113 countries in the world? Hallelujah! We're winning the world for Christ.

The delicate nature of funding such a scheme is complex and not without its challenges. We need to do all we can to accelerate and facilitate God's mission around the globe. Our territory is one of twelve that bear the responsibility for the rest. It's a major part of who we are and what God is doing.

Thank you for what you are doing to help the work around the world.

Psalms 8:9 (MSG)
9 God, brilliant Lord, your name echoes around the world.

Thursday, 1 November 2007

General Shaw Clifton

We are fortunate to have a world leader with a deep love for God and a brilliant mind to serve Him. He and Commissioner Helen Clifton team up to make a powerful force for the Kingdom of God and the advancement of His love.

They're coming to Australia in November and will be leading our Connections 07 event to the glory of God. Their appeal is inclusive and intelligent. However you connect, through attendance at the events, reading of their involvement, watching the Internet connections or the DVD to follow, be prepared to be inspired, challenged and encouraged, all at the same time. God will speak through them.

I'll be there...wouldn't miss it.

Hebrews 13:17 (MSG)
17 Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Friends in High Places

Meeting with SA leaders from many parts of the world reminds me that I have friends in high places. They each have significant responsibilities and carry then well with joy and holy conviction.

Better than them, I have a friend in the highest of places. He is my Saviour and He is God. Hallelujah! He was placed upon a cross and lifted up high to die for me. He descended into deepest hell and then ascended into highest heaven as a part of God's redemptive plan...and He did so out of love for God and us.

We truly need this friend in the highest place and hold Him highest in our hearts of love for Him to be glorified and for others to see Him for who He truly is.

John 12:32 (MSG)
32 And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me."

Monday, 29 October 2007

Sunbury Court

It's a place steeped in SA history and one which makes you think as you walk the halls and the grounds. Many, many holy people have come here for different conferences and meetings, none the least of these is the High Council. You know this is located just outside London and the estate is quite stately and functional. The trees are amazing. Like some I've never seen before, almost carrying an air that this is a special place.

Meetings this week will center on the global financing of TSA. It's a welcomed opportunity and one that will bear fruit, I'm sure. We still have many people and nations in the world to tell about Jesus. Our international scope proves the grace of God among us. Hallelujah!

Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV)
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Commissioner Israel L. Gaither


I finished rereading the biography of Commissioner Israel L. Gaither today and it came to my attention (thanks S Court), that today is the Commissioner's birthday. I'm sure he'd like to hear from all of us.

The biography is eloquently written by Colonel Henry Gariepy and is not only a classic, but a great reference work as well. Do you want to know if God is at work in The Salvation Army? Are you interested in how He facilitates His mission through people? Would you like to know more of holiness, leadership, or commitment? Read the book. It's called Israel L. Gaither, Man With A Mission and it's worth every page.

Happy Birthday Commissioner!

Luke 15:23 (NIV)
23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Commitment

In this role, there are amazing opportunities to witness deeply grounded commitment. God proves His love in astounding ways and we have wonderful soldiers in our Army who get it. Their response to His offer of service is availability. Their personal interests are tertiary to their love for Him and dedication to His mission. Hallelujah!

You can know the joy of unconditional love for God with your own willingness to submit to God, regardless of the cost. God will enable you both to make this commitment and equip you in the process of the demonstration of your witness.

Give Him your all...don't delay.

Job 22:21 (NIV)
21 "Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you.

Thursday, 25 October 2007

God Answers More Prayer

I could write on this reality every day. Today, though, the answer to prayer is powerful and presents the hope for a better future in our mission. Hallelujah! Of course it involves people. It's always about the people. The hope of our future is not anchored in systems or programmes, it's in our people.

The Army part of TSA is no where near about structure (military) as it is about the force (people). We are enlisted to reach people. Always. We are only as good or effective as our people. God calls us into relationship...people with hearts, sensitivities, excitement, hopes, and more.

Thank you Lord, for answering our prayer.

Philippians 4:19 (MSG)
19 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.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Decisions

One of my mentors says about himself, "I may not always be right, but I'm always decisive." It's one of the reasons I look to him so much. He's right way more often than not, but the point is that he has the courage to act on his convictions. I like that.

We've been looking at many subjects in these days of the 3T Conference. The discussion ends with a decision to act or not to act at this moment. This is good. There are many facets to the decisions that affect all three territories. They need to be weighed and understood from many perspectives.

I thank God for these women and men who are committed to serving Christ with every thought, decision and action. Hallelujah!

John 8:50 (MSG)
50 I am not trying to get anything for myself. God intends something gloriously grand here and is making the decisions that will bring it about.

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

3T Conference

Each year at this time the two Australian Territories with the New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory meet to review, discuss and plan subjects related to Kingdom business. It's well worth the time and is very productive. The agenda is mutually agreed upon in advance and the future of TSA in this part of the world is advantaged.

We have a great responsibility before us which we take very seriously. I believe God is honoured by the meetings, worship and fellowship. There is much to be gained by the interaction and concerns. Many issues are similar and relate to each of the territories. The experience and gifting of the whole contributes to the individual parts effectively. Prayer on this is welcomed.

Romans 12:4 (MSG)
4 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Different Ideas

Earlier in the week I was thinking about new ideas. I like ideas. Now I want to advance different ideas. More properly, I want to acknowledge that different people have different ideas about how things should be done. In an expression, "there's more than one way to skin a cat."

What I'm pressing about is that in most things there is more than one way to get the same job completed or to reach our objectives. I'm trying to communicate that we need not get stuck in our ways, but in the spirit of cooperation and in conflict resolution, consider alternate approaches possible. You and I don't have to press our style or preferences, only open up to other ways...How about God's ways?

Psalms 25:4 (MSG)
4 Show me how you work, God; School me in your ways.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Reading is Essential

We need to find time to read on our journey. Starting with the Word of God, there are any number of good books out there by which God will inspire, instruct and enable you. I've recently finished Roger Green's book on the life and ministry of William Booth. It's better than a history book. He gets to the core of the movement by giving insights about the founder.

Last week I read Cory Harrison's restatement of Catherine Booth's Agressive Christiantity. He does very well with this and brings her writings to a fresh understanding...no less compelling, convicting or challenging.

I picked up General Larsson's autobiography today for this week. So far, he's a blessing.

So what are you reading? What do you recommend as the three top books you've read after the Bible?

Ephesians 3:4 (MSG)
4 As you read over what I have written to you, you'll be able to see for yourselves into the mystery of Christ.

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Household Troops Band

We are here for the first ever Household Troops Band visit to Australia. They were great tonight at the Waverley Temple Corps. Good program and good music. They have a warm and friendly spirit. No wonder their called the "people's band."

After tomorrow they're in Warnambool, Adelaide Congress Hall and Perth Fortress. There's no doubt in my mind that they'll be well received and appreciated. Look for them if they're coming to a neighborhood near you.

Psalms 149:3 (MSG)
3 Let them praise his name in dance; strike up the band and make great music!

Friday, 19 October 2007

New Ideas

Let's be open to new ideas. If we are to move forward, change is inevitable and new ideas are a part of the plan. They come from God in many ways. We have to be listening and considering and praying for the inspiration of these new directions or concepts or options. Anything less would be maintenance. Do we really want to be satisfied with that?

It does take discernment to know when a new idea is a good idea. Is it consistent with the direction of God? Does it align with our God-given mission? Is it feasible? These are some of the qualifiers that will render a new idea workable or file-able. Often, some of these new ideas have been tried before and it's time to try them again. Either way, we need to be on the look out for ways to extend the Kingdom of God and that will glorify Him. Hallelujah!

Revelation 21:5 (MSG)
5 The Enthroned continued, "Look! I'm making everything new. Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate."

Thursday, 18 October 2007

SPROC

This means South Pacific Retired Officers' Convention. The group is meeting this week at the Arndale Corps in South Australia. They are terrific. Today in the Keynote the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Kevin Scarce was there with his wife to give greetings and welcome the officers to the State. His words were excellent and his spirit was warm and gracious.

The retired officers from New Zealand, Australia East and Australia South are so much in one accord, you can't distinguish them. Their fellowship is seamless and a credit to their faith in Christ. The theme for the week is "To The Hills." It makes you immediately consider a hill called Mount Calvary and the incredible demonstration of love for us. With the right perspective of Calvary, we see Jesus and salvation. Hallelujah!

Luke 23:33 (NKJV)
33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Candidates Needed

Plain and simple, we need more candidates for officership. We are believing for a growing Army, but our present number of candidates are short of maintaining our current officer strength. Know that we are determined to grow with or without increased officer support, but our officer corps is a proven source for an effective means to accomplish our God given objectives.

I am convinced that God is looking for more souls to enter His Kingdom and for the church to grow in that process. I'm also convinced He is looking to TSA to be a prominent part of His plan.

If God is calling you to become an officer, don't delay. Come forward now and realise the joy of following Him completely. In my experience, there is a direct correlation between our officer strength and our effectiveness in bringing people to Christ. Every soldier and employee and volunteer has a role and is valuable and vital in the process. Each of us should ascertain if God is calling us to officership.

2 Timothy 2:2 (MSG)
2 Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Partnerships

Starting with the understanding that God designed us for relationships, we can bask in the joy that the first relationship is between us and Him. Herein we find life, breath and abundant hope. Following this relationship, we have the delight to connect with our families and other believers. This too is promising, but not the end of it.

I believe God calls us to partnerships in the sharing of the gospel with other churches, para-churches and even other groups. Again, it's in the relationships that we demonstrate the harmonious miracles of God and by which we multiply our impact exponentially as a result. We have numerous partners in the fight. Pray that we maximise these opportunities to His glory.

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"?

Monday, 15 October 2007

Encouragement

Living in Christ is a joy and a challenge among many facets of our relationship. In the course of the journey, we will undoubtedly face moments and situations where we are misunderstood or even wrong. Even out of a pure heart these occurrences have the potential to drain our joy and dissipate our strength. It happens.

It's at these times when the Lord will send to us an agent of encouragement to enable us to look up to Him with renewed hope and courage. It can be a great opportunity when we recognize it as God's gift and provision for us. He never fails.

Perhaps He is leading you to be an agent of encouragement. Look for the possibilities and allow yourself to be used by God in this constructive way. I actually believe that a day won't pass without the inspiration of God towards you to do this. You're perfect for the task. Hallelujah!

Nehemiah 8:10 (NIV)
10 "... This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Norwood, SA 125th Anniversary - Sunday

The weekend culminated today with rejoicing and renewal. It's a beautiful hall and it was packed both this morning and this afternoon, balcony and all. They even set up overflow space where there was a huge screen for people to enjoy the meetings.

God was honoured throughout. Time after time, expressions of the work of God over 125 years were given. With each story, we praised the Lord. The music too lifted our hearts to heaven as we shared in God's presence. The weekend focused on Reunion, Reflection and Renewal all pointing to the Lord Jesus.

We praise God for what He has done, is doing , and will be doing at Norwood Citadel. Hallelujah!

Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Norwood, SA 125th Anniversary

The celebrations of the Norwood Corps 125th Anniversary began with a Reunion Dinner Friday night. The banquet hall was packed and there were memories of the grace of God among us flowing freely through the hall. Some came from great distances to see friends of many years and to share happy stories, some revised through the years. Major Glenda Daddow, Major Cindy Shellenberger, and the Divisional Leaders, Majors Dennis and Pat Rowe all shared in leadership of the night. It was just great.

Today started with a Men's Breakfast meeting followed by a reunion band practice. The breakfast was terrific and the fellowship strong. There were also multiple historic displays that drew great interest and recollection.

The afternoon was filled with a BBQ picnic with games, face painting, family fun and again, good food. This is a wonderful corps with as promising a future as it has had a God-glorifying past. We're expecting a time of renewal tomorrow in the Sunday meetings.

1 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)
3 We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Serving Christ

Let's listen in on the funeral of Colonel Bo Brekke:

‘WELCOME in the name of the risen Christ!’ With these words General Shaw Clifton greeted the congregation which had gathered for the funeral of Colonel Bo Brekke on 9 October 2007 at 11am in the Oslo Temple Corps, Norway. ‘We are people who know about resurrection, about Heaven and eternity with Christ,’ he continued, adding: ‘It is a beautiful death to die in Christ.’

‘When we run out of words we turn to Scripture,’ said the General, wanting God’s Word to be foremost on this occasion. He quoted Matthew 10:28: ‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.’ He told the congregation: ‘Do not be afraid! We need to take this to heart. We have no guarantee of tomorrow, but Revelation 2:10 tells us that, if faithful, even to the point of death, God will give us the crown of life.’

He continued: ‘I have one more question. There is now a gap in the ranks of soldiers, officers and senior leaders. The Army is hurting. Which of you will step forward, ready to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice: “You must stand in the gap”? Out of evil, ugliness, sin and cruelty it is God’s nature to bring something of surpassing beauty that today we cannot see. Unmatched beauty will come from all of this. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.’

2 Thessalonians 1:12 (MSG)
12 If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Social Justice

We have an incredible responsibility to champion social justice in the name of Christ. This is not a new concept in the church or in the Army. We celebrate the efforts of early day Salvationists who gave themselves out of their love for Christ in this way.

Internationally, the General has thought the subject to be so important that he has established a social justice office connected to the United Nations, led by Commissioner Christine MacMillan.

Here in the Australia Southern Territory, we have Captain Danielle Strickland who is giving creative and capable leadership in this same area. Every day we are seeing increasing evidence of our own people seriously considering social justice issues and their part to play. Lord, help us each in our responsibilities to act justly and to love mercy whilst walking humbly with You.

Hebrews 11:33 (MSG)
33 Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions,

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

God Answers Prayer

God has our hearts in His and hears our concerns from that place. Sometimes we make decisions with our hearts and other times with our heads. The distinction is significant to us. God's decisions are always from the heart. Our deepening relationship with Him will guide our thinking, our hopes and prayers. We come closer to His will in the process. It's a great place to be.

Today, God has revealed Himself in wonderful ways with answers that are thrilling. He is moving among us in remarkable ways and I am grateful. He is Lord and His love instills a confidence in us that we can stand in faith, believing Him. Hallelujah!

Isaiah 7:9 (MSG)
9 "... If you don't take your stand in faith, you won't have a leg to stand on."

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Appointments

Effective 1 December 2007:

Captain Stephen Court - Training Principal
Office of the Chief Secretary
Territorial Headquarters

Major Frank Daniels - Secretary for Personnel
Office of the Secretary for Personnel
Territorial Headquarters

Effective 9 January 2008:

Major Allan Daddow - Assistant Chief Secretary
Office of the Chief Secretary
Territorial Headquarters

Major Lorraine Daddow - Territorial Child Sponsorship Director
Office of the Territorial President Women's Ministries
Territorial Headquarters

Major John Vale - Secretary for Business Administration
Office of the Secretary for Business Administration
Territorial Headquarters

Lt-Colonel Jocelyn Knapp - Secretary for Programme
Office of the Secretary for Programme
Territorial Headquarters

Major Cilla Bone - Leader Development Secretary
Office of the Secretary for Personnel
Territorial Headquarters

RETURNING TO HOME TERRITORY

Lieut-Colonels Brian & Elaine Hood Australia Eastern Territory

DIVISIONS & REGION

Major Graeme Rigley - Divisional Commander
Northern Victoria Division

Major Karyn Rigley - Divisional Director Women’s Ministries
Northern Victoria Division

Major Graeme McClimont - Divisional Commander
Tasmania Division

Major Helen McClimont - Divisional Director Women’s Ministries
Tasmania Division

Major John Freind - Regional Officer
& Regional Public Relations Secretary
Northern Territory Region

Major Wendy Freind - Regional Director Women’s Ministries
& Assistant Regional Public Relations Secretary
Northern Territory Region

1 Samuel 18:5 (NLT)
5 Whatever Saul asked David to do, David did it successfully. So Saul made him a commander in his army, an appointment that was applauded by the fighting men and officers alike.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Full Day

The day started with the recognition of the Ford Motor Company for their support of Bambara a camp located in Clonbinane, Victoria and operated by Westcare. Thank you, John Avent for your ministry and the work that takes place at Bambara. Whilst we were standing there talking about the programme, we were pleasantly surprised by a Koala who decided to join us.

The second stop was an all afternoon meeting with a Public relations firm that is supporting our efforts with Connections '07. It's a blessing to have such a professional team on our side.

The third was an evening meeting with a city Councilman to discuss the realities of homelessness and affordable housing. His plans are solid and will be easy to support. There is much to do on this subject. Can we eliminate homelessness? I think we should try.

Philippians 4:4 (MSG)
4 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Captains Paul and Robbin Moulds

Both Captains Robbin and Paul Moulds were used by God to minister to us at the Aggressive Christianity Conference. If you want, you can acquire copies of their messages and all others as well. I strongly recommend that you do.

Today, at the Box Hill Corps they both spoke in the meetings and reminded us of God's love for all, including the last, the least and the lost. They are both servants of God and gifted communicators. Their words are validated by their commitment and experience. God is with them.

Thank you to both. You have served well in this part of the vineyard.

Joshua 24:24 (NIV)
24 And the people said to Joshua, "We will serve the LORD our God and obey him."

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Melbourne Veterans' Band

The Melbourne Veterans' Band gave a strong witness in concert this afternoon in the BMW Theatre at Federation Square. They were terrific. Under the leadership of Bandmaster Noel Jones and Executive Officer Major Howard Davies. Both of these servants of God are treasures in The Salvation Army and soldiers of the Australia Southern Territory. I have known them from a distance for many years and am blessed to know them now as friends.

The ministry of the band connected with the many who were there. The Male Chorus too gave glory to God in their singing and hearty witness. I believe we sensed the joy of God through the whole programme. Hallelujah!

Psalms 150:6 (NIV)
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD.

Friday, 5 October 2007

ACC Final

It was as if the week was building in a crescendo of spiritual empowerment. I was able to speak to the group this afternoon and presented my dream for the territory. Perhaps it'll show up somewhere for others to consider.

In the afternoon we also shared in the book launch of Olivia Munn and Stephen Court's book entitled, "The Uprising" It's really good work and I'd recommend it for youth to read about holiness. I'll probably post again about it before long.

Tonight, Jeff Lucas had us rolling in the aisles and seeking God on our knees. The Spirit of God moved in our hearts and we are found affirmed and greatly inspired. I cannot imagine that the early Army meetings were anymore exciting or powerful. This one had it all. Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 5:18 (AMP)
18 But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].

Thursday, 4 October 2007

More ACC and More

ACC in Melbourne tonight featured the amazing Captain Danielle Strickland. God spoke through her powerfully and passionately. He so loves to dispense mercy whilst drawing us to justice. Hallelujah!

The Box Hill Songsters and their Big Band were on duty tonight. Good music for all.

Earlier in the day, General Burrows gave an aggression session and boldly gave us every reason to make evangelism our passion. She understands the value of our middle name. I wonder if she'd be willing to serve again as General when the next opportunity presents itself.

Then there was so much to celebrate elsewhere today too. God is moving in our territory. Yes!

Lamentations 3:25 (MSG)
25 God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

ACC & Fair Trade

Tonight, Captain Robbin Moulds brought the message in the evening Rally at the Box Hill Corps Aggressive Christianity Conference. She was great. The worship band, again, kept us alive and honouring God.

In each meeting we are learning more about Fair Trade and our need to support these initiatives as a matter of social justice. If you come to tomorrow night's meeting, you'll hear an announcement related to this very subject. Hallelujah!

There was also a time of prayer for the Brekke family, Pakistan and the General, who carries significant concerns for the Army in these days. God bless the Army.

Deuteronomy 32:4 (MSG)
4 The Rock: His works are perfect, and the way he works is fair and just; A God you can depend upon, no exceptions, a straight-arrow God.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

ACC 07

The Aggressive Christianity Conference has begun today with a day of officer sessions. General Eva Burrows, Mr. Jeff Lucas and Major Paul Moulds spoke to us in convincing terms with clarity, consistency and conviction. It was worth every minute. The question and answer time was, as well, very interesting.

The evening session was capably led by the ACC worship band that rocked the house and glorified God. We were glad to be there. They're off to a great start and there's room for more to come. If you're in the neighborhood during the day or in the evening, you're invited to join us. It's all at the Box Hill Corps in Victoria. I'm believing for global impact. Hallelujah!

1 Peter 3:18 (MSG)
18 That's what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others' sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Colonel Bo Brekke

Colonel Bo Brekke, Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory, was shot and killed Thursday 27 September. The incident occurred in the THQ compound shortly after the colonel had presided over the retirement and farewell meeting to the Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women's Ministries. Information to date points to an individual act of criminality. There is nothing to suggest that this is related in any way to terrorism. The incident occurred at about 6.30 p.m. local time while Colonel Brekke was working alone in his office. Our hearts reach out to Colonel Birgitte Brekke and her family at this tragic time.

A Norwegian by birth, Bo Brekke was a cadet in the 'Proclaimers of Salvation' session, being commissioned as an officer in May 1980 and appointed as corps officer to Brevik, in Norway. The following year he transferred to corps leadership in the Denmark Territory, the home territory of Birgitte. After two years in Denmark Bo and Birgitte returned to Norway and continued in service in corps appointments until their transfer to the Sri Lanka Territory at the beginning of 1987.

In Sri Lanka, a short period as Manager of Hope House preceded an appointment as Acting Property Secretary in July 1987, and then as Property and Special Efforts Secretary from November 1988. As Community Services Secretary from 1991, the then Captain Brekke also undertook management of Hope House once again.

Bo and Birgitte returned to Norway from 1993 to 1995, giving leadership to the Fredrikstad Corps during that time.

Having developed a deep love for South Asia and its people, it was a personal joy for Bo and Birgitte Brekke when, in August 1995 they were appointed as regional leaders to Bangladesh. Under their leadership the work of the Army flourished and in 1997 the Bangladesh Region was granted command status, and Major Bo Brekke was appointed as Officer Commanding, with Birgitte serving alongside him as Command President of Women's Ministries and Command Youth Officer.

The late summer of 2002 saw a further change of culture and working environment as Bo and Birgitte were appointed as divisional leaders of the North Scotland Division in the United Kingdom Territory, followed by service respectively as Chief Secretary and Secretary for Mission Development in the Eastern Europe Territory. It was from there that, almost exactly one year ago (15 September 2006) Colonel Bo Brekke was appointed as Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory, and Colonel Birgitte Brekke as Territorial President of Women's Ministries.

At the time of her husband's promotion to Glory Colonel Birgitte Brekke was attending meetings at International Headquarters in London. Arrangements were made immediately for her to fly to Norway to be with her two sons and other family members. She was accompanied by her sister who had come to London to see Birgitte while she was visiting IHQ.

We thank God for the commitment that Bo Brekke demonstrated through 27 years of faithful and effective service as a Salvation Army officer, and I know you will join me in prayer on behalf of Birgitte, her sons Benjamin and Bo Christoffer and other members of the family who, whilst encouraged by the hope that we have in the Risen Christ, nevertheless are understandably devastated by the tragic and untimely promotion to Glory of a loving husband, father and friend.

Psalms 46:1 (NIV)
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

Darwin Sunday

The day with the Melbourne Staff Songsters started with the holiness meeting at the Darwin Corps. The Palmerston Corps joined in the worship as well. The meeting was moving as the Songsters bring a joy and conviction to every venue at which they sing. I praise God for each of them and for those who knelt at the mercy seat to connect with God.

The afternoon programme was beautifully shared with the African Gospel Singers who ministered to us in lively fashion. Both groups delighted God with their offerings and we were blessed to be in their company.

Luke 6:45 (NIV)
45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Darwin

Besides the Grand Finals of Footy, the Staff Songsters arrived in Darwin this afternoon and promptly engaged in a vocal clinic for the high school choir. This, of course is a great idea and led to their joint performance tonight at the Christ Church in Darwin. Salvationists from the area came as did many people from the neighborhood.

The weather was hot and humid. It took its toll on a couple of Songsters, but the group stood the test of a long week and tough conditions. They make us all proud. Thanks to Majors Ritchie and Gail Watson for their leadership and preparations here in the Top End.

2 Corinthians 5:9 (MSG)
9 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Alice Springs Day 2

The second day here in Alice with the Melbourne Staff Songsters has been a delight. The morning stated with a small group going to the Australian Police Memorial Service where they sang and we witnessed the dedication of this city towards their police. The larger part of the group did a programme at an aged care facility and were warmly received as well.

Mid-day the Songsters met at the Corps with their Aboriginal choir to practice an item for the evening outdoor programme. All went well. The evening outdoor programme drew over 100 onlookers and was a great opportunity to sing to the glory of God. Hallelujah!

Your prayers are gratefully received. Off to Darwin tomorrow.

Titus 3:5 (NIV)
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Alice Springs

We arrived in Alice after a day of visiting Uluru again and a long day in the bus. It gives me a chance to indicate what a great group the Melbourne Staff Songsters are. They work hard. They work together. They love the Lord and care about each other. It's all working.

You may want to read the official tour account at the Melbourne Staff Songster tour website. Click on those words to go there from here.

I'm thanking God tonight for each one of them. Their ministry is strong and filled with the Spirit of God.

Psalms 101:1 (NIV)
1 I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Uluru

Uluru, also known as Ayer's Rock was worth the journey. Located close to the centre of the country and 800+ kilometers from Coober Pedy, it rises up out of the centre of the earth to make quite an impressive scene. The Indigenous People see it as sacred ground and many precautions are taken to protect them in their beliefs.

The Melbourne Staff Songsters gathered at the foot of the Rock to see the sun set and it's light changing affect on the Rock itself. They sang 4 songs including Let Your Presence Fall on Me, I Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Jesus, and a Scriptural Benediction that sanctified the moment for us all and for those who were onlookers nearby. God drew us together and sealed the experience in our hearts. Hallelujah!

Matthew 16:16 (NIV)
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Coober Pedy

Now here's a one of a kind town in the world. Coober Pedy is a long way by bus from Port Augusta. We saw wild emus along the Stuart Highway and noted that a certain stretch of the highway was a dedicated emergency landing strip for planes and jets to use when necessary. We did keep our eyes in the skies just to make sure we weren't being confronted by some of Qantas' finest.

Our motel is in the side of the hill as are much of the establishments and dwellings. You would even call it a cave. The rooms get pretty dark day or night when you turn off the lights. The design is quite practical in the heat and dust storms they have here.

The programme too was one of a kind. You'll want to ask the songsters. They sang to God's honour and joy. Hallelujah!

John 20:8 (NIV)
8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Port Augusta

On the way to Port Augusta, the Melbourne Staff Songsters stopped first at Gawler, South Australia for morning tea. As arranged, the corps officer, made sure there were soldiers and volunteers present, because after the tea, the Songsters sang and ministered to them. It was a blessed moment and all were thrilled to be a part of it.

Similarly, the next stop was Kadina for lunch and a fellowship time with soldiers and friends followed by a mini-programme for them in the corps hall. Here too, the Holy Spirit encouraged each of our hearts to His delight.

By evening, we found ourselves giving a full concert in Port Augusta, South Australia. The crowd was healthy and very responsive to the Songsters. In one particular song, the crowd sings with the Songsters. Here, they raised the roof. Hallelujah!

Luke 5:13 (NIV)
13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Portland and Mt. Gambier

On Sunday, the Melbourne Staff Songsters ministered at the Portland, Victoria in the Western Victoria Division. The morning worship was a beautiful time to remember as the Holman family came forward for prayer with many supporters from the corps.

In the arvo (afternoon)the songsters sang and witnessed at the Mount Gambier Corps where a very good crowd welcomed them to the glory of God. Many folks came from quite a distance to be there. Thanks to Majors Howard and Elaine Trendell for their good work.

As their tour begins to unfold, it is obvious that each one of the Songsters loves the Lord and convey their love throughout their singing. Hallelujah!

Luke 5:4 (NIV)
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Warnambool

This is a great corps in Western Victoria under the leadership of Captains Mains. The corps hosted the Melbourne Staff Songsters tonight for a gospel concert. The hall was full and everyone enjoyed the programme immensely. This was the first night of the MSB tour of South Australia and the Northern Territory. In each programme, the gospel will be presented and we will see what the Holy Spirit wants to do with it all. We're expecting great things.

Please bring the group, its leadership and those who will attend the programmes before the Lord. As we pray together, I believe God will anoint the efforts to His glory. Thanks for praying even now.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NIV)
1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Keeping the Faith

Some early Booth quotes would speak to getting saved and keeping saved. In the same context, keeping the faith relates to where we hold on and not let go. It means trusting Jesus what e'er befall...It is far from meaning keeping ones faith to oneself.

So look at the challenges of the day as opportunities to witness in your faith. Discouragement and distraction are tools of the enemy. We have much to remember about God's faithfulness. He has not deserted us. He champions our faith and welcomes the strength of our witness in the journey. Hallelujah! Pleasing God alone can swell our soul with delight. Yes. Let's keep the faith!

Luke 8:15 (MSG)
15 "But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Parker Place

The Western Victoria Division dedicated Parker Place today. As a part of the Karinya Social Programme in Ballarat, these eight housing units will be used for homeless women and their families. They are great and will signal an appropriate sense of dignity to those who will use them going forward. This is great.

There are more than 100,000 homeless people in Australia with 30,000 in the state of Victoria. Of these, 5,000 are between the ages of 12-18. This is something we have to do something about and they are in Ballarat. Congratulations to Majors Walker, the Divisional Leaders and Captain Sharon Bywaters, the programme leader.

Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

New Candidates

I learned today of two new candidates for officership. They hope to enter the Training College in the next session. God has spoken to their hearts and they are committed to following Him. Hallelujah!

We are also seeing God move amongst Lieutenants. I've learned of more today who are seeing God's way through to officership. This is a blessing.

Candidates" Board met today to consider the suitability of a good candidate for officership.

Add all of this to the new soldiers that have been enroled lately and you'll begin to witness the work of God. Thank you, Lord for these encouraging people who also witness to our hearts.

Psalms 64:9 (AMP)
9 And all men shall [reverently] fear and be in awe; and they will declare the work of God, for they will wisely consider and acknowledge that it is His doing.

Quality Control

So who could be against quality? I suppose the question might be at what expense? The word itself is very much a relative concept. A quality product to some, often is not to others.

What about a quality life? While it would be easy to write that a life is lacking quality without Christ, there are countless people who have contributed to our society who were not followers of Christ. It speaks of our values and why we are here. We are here, undoubtedly to honour God. When we do so, our life takes on a quality that exceeds personal accomplishments. That quality of life never diminishes the value of another life.

Let the quality of our life in Christ be what draws other people to Him.

Daniel 10:11 (MSG)
11 " 'Daniel,' he said, 'man of quality, listen carefully to my message. And get up on your feet. Stand at attention. I've been sent to bring you news.'"

Monday, 17 September 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

It's an interesting phrase.

How about this old one? The stranger to NY asks "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" The New Yorker answers, "practice, practice, practice."

Why is it that a Doctor practices medicine and a lawyer practices law. When do they do it for real?

However we understand it, we need to practice our faith in the crucible of our daily journey. It needs to be our every moments intention, until it becomes us...as in the image of God. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

1 John 3:18 (MSG)
18 My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Saved2Serve

Six new Senior Soldiers were enroled tonight to the glory of God. It was clear they are under the banner, saved2serve. The hall was filled with supporters as Andy, Naomi, Kathryn, Kirsten, Rachel and Ryan signed their Articles of War. Each one also had another sponsor/supporter present to pray with them and stand by them at the service.

We need more Soldiers and with these in mind, God is sending His best. Hallelujah!

We spent some time looking at the word of God where He makes it clear that we are saved to serve. The serving part includes leading others to Christ. Let us each be diligent in our efforts to do so.

Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Togethering

On the invitation to our wedding, we used a word that probably still isn't one. We invited people to be there to share in the moment that would formally initiate our "togethering in Christ." It might have been a seventies kind of thing on our mind, but it has indeed become a descriptor of our journey.

Carolyn's return from Sunbury Court reminds me that I'm at my best when we are togethering in Christ. The kilometers aren't really negatively significant to our relationship. We are in unison, serving Christ. It's a concept that is also the prayer of our Lord: "that we might be one." I like this part of the answer to His prayer. Hallelujah!

John 13:34 (NIV)
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Calling

Would you keep reading if I promised to tell you about your calling? This is a matter that many believers struggle with. We look to God for where we ought to be and what we ought to be doing. Along with your calling, I know God's will for your life. It actually has less to do with the where and what as it does with the who.

Hear God: 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NIV)
3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified:

And more: 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (NIV)
7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

There it is. God's calling and His will for you and me, all in the same chapter in the Bible. Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 (NIV)
1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Anniversary Day

Although not our wedding anniversary, today was an anniversary of sorts. I met with a few friends for the best part of the day to celebrate the presence of God in our lives and in the territory. The whole experience was refreshing.

You might want to take a minute with a few friends to consider where you were at this time last year and what God has done in your life. It's not the type of thing you would do every day of your life, but once in a while, it will undoubtedly reveal the provision of God and faith rewarded. Hallelujah!

He is Lord and is worthy of all our praise.

Jeremiah 5:24 (MSG)
24 It never occurs to them to say, 'How can we honor our God with our lives, The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn and maintains the rhythm of the seasons, Who sets aside time each year for harvest and keeps everything running smoothly for us?'

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Measuring Success

Godly success is measured by faithfulness. There aren't enough computers in the world to calculate the significance and success in serving God. How do you become successful? Start by trusting God. Continue by living for Him every day. Claim the sanctified experience. Make it even more purposeful by celebrating radical obscurity. Your life will be dripping with faithfulness...and authentic success.

Now you know I'm not given to formulaic spirituality. The point is faithfulness. Now look at how it really works...(in the scripture here) Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NIV)
24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Really Good People

I'm in the process of meeting really good Salvationists this week. We have an amazing array of committed people who love the Lord and want to serve Him completely. He is assembling a company of the committed in His service to draw many to His love.

My heart is overwhelmed by the depth of our people and the joys expressed in the day to day battles through which He has made them winners. Hallelujah!

Thank you, Lord for the faithful, the righteous, and the diligent. With them in your strength, we can win the world for Jesus.

Proverbs 18:10 (MSG)
10 God's name is a place of protection— good people can run there and be safe.

Monday, 10 September 2007

God at Work

Sometimes we wonder where God is. We seemed to have survived the whole "God is dead" thing, although I did hear children sing recently, "God's not dead. No! He is alive." So where or when do you see God at work?

He is at work at every meal you enjoy and for every night you sleep in safe haven. Don't miss Him by the curse of the familiar.

I happen to be rejoicing today for the way He is at work in people. I'm enjoying seeing Him alive and well in the souls of people who love Him and who serve Him with their whole life. Hallelujah!

Can people say that about you?

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (MSG)
13 And now we look back on all this and thank God, an artesian well of thanks! When you got the Message of God we preached, you didn't pass it off as just one more human opinion, but you took it to heart as God's true word to you, which it is, God himself at work in you believers!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Primary

At the corps today, we celebrated the contribution of the Primary kids to our lives. They sang and danced and recited lines. They were great. All of the kids are. The parents were proud. The grands were thrilled and the rest of us just swelled with joy to witness the promise of God in each of these children. Hallelujah!

Can we hold them in the grace of God? We must do everything we can to do so. It is a battle that we cannot take lightly. I expect that each one of these parents will fight for their child's life. Sometimes we just don't know how to do it and sometimes our own distractions turn into the calamities of the children. God help us.

Matthew 18:5 (Phillips NT)
5 "Anyone who welcomes one child like this for my sake is welcoming me. But if anyone leads astray one of these little children who believe in me he would be better off thrown into the depths of the sea with a mill-stone hung round his neck! Alas for the world with its pitfalls! In the nature of things there must be pitfalls. yet alas for the man who is responsible for them!

Saturday, 8 September 2007

What do you say to God?

Now this might seem to be a trick question. What do you say to God? You might ask what are the circumstances or what is the context?

I submit to you, the answer to God is "Yes." Whatever He says to you, the yes is an indication of our total devotion to Him and our intention to serve Him without equivocation.

Up to it? The answer to that one is no, apart from the grace of God.

It doesn't need to be complex when we understand that He is Lord...no one else. Hallelujah!

Revelation 22:21 (MSG)
21 The grace of the Master Jesus be with all of you. Oh, Yes!

Friday, 7 September 2007

Traveling

The joy is in the journey. More than the destination, the journey needs to be filled with grace, holy expectation and integrity. It's in the journey that we will see the daily grace of God in our lives and in others'. Watch for it. Experience it. Know it.

On this basis, it doesn't matter where you are on the journey. Being joined with Jesus will bring to your life the fullness and hope that God designed us for. There's no reason to await the destinations in life as your only satisfaction. Enjoy the traveling in Christ.

1 Peter 1:17 (MSG)
17 You call out to God for help and he helps—he's a good Father that way. But don't forget, he's also a responsible Father, and won't let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Champions

From time to time we feel like we're working with champions. We have some of the best officers in the world in the Australian Southern Territory and we are so grateful to God for them. Carolyn and I met with a few of these officers today for a casual meeting. My heart rejoices for their faithfulness, hopefulness and earnestness. Hallelujah!

Don't worry about who they are. Give thought to being all you can be for God. That's they key to their success. That's what shines through them like a brilliant beam from heaven. There are, in fact many like these today who serve out of love and in so doing, serve like champions. Thank you.

1 Peter 5:4 (AMP)
4 And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Philip Yancey

The celebrated author was in Melbourne today. He spoke at a good event sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance. There were about 200 there and estimating by the response, everyone was blessed by Mr. Yancey's message. I'll resist the temptation to restate his points, but rather, celebrate his faithfulness as well as his latest book. You can acquire a copy of the DVD of his message from Evangelical Alliance.

I've never read one of his books I didn't like. This one's entitled, "Prayer: Does It Make a Difference? I have yet to read it, but am blessed that he has chosen this subject. In the book he asks, "Why is it that prayer ranks so high on surveys of importance and so low on surveys of satisfaction?" This is a great question.

Let's just pray...and then...trust God.

1 Peter 2:9 (MSG)
9 But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Appearances

It appears we have an obsession about our appearance and our appearances. Passing a mirror? Did you check yourself out? How about the reflection in the store window? Were you able to see yourself clearly? Happy with your appearance?

Appearance not only relates to your look, but also with your location. Are you where you want to be? Now the double whammy...Are you concerned about how you look as it relates to where you are? Do I appear confused?

Made in the image of God, we are designed to be like Him...like Jesus. It comes true when it not only is our appearance, it is our reality.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (MSG)
3 What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—
4 but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.