Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Working Together

I briefly entered a creative team meeting today that was buzzing and constructing to the glory of God. Now that's something that would get me up in the morning. Besides the subject matter, I think I was most impressed with the way the team was working together. No hidden agendas. No abstract attitudes. Confidence and respect in each other was evident and active.

When the mission is strong, the negative aspects of relationships diminish. Sometimes they even vanish. This is the way to go. Let's make a commitment to do so. It will inspire even better communication, relationships and outcomes. Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 6:1 (ASV)
1 And working together with him we entreat also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain

Tuesday, 30 January 2007

Between Generations

I've been reading Aussie Michael Frost's book titled EXILES Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture. I really recommend it for cultural identification and challenge. He speaks largely about post-Christendom and his points are well taken. When there is a cultural shift, where and when do we draw the dividing line between the cultures?

On a regular basis I find myself straddling these lines in the same meeting. It's an amazing place to find yourself. Sometimes you can try everything to get the former culture to try to take a step in the direction of the present. Sometimes it's quite difficult. The question becomes, "Where do we stand?" I like the present and lean towards the future.

1 Corinthians 9:22 (NIV)
22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

Monday, 29 January 2007


In a world which excels in communication, it is interesting that our communication skills are often lacking. From layer to layer in administrative structure, the failure of communication is commonly the cause of misunderstanding and major complications.

Have you found yourself on your mobile or cellular phone saying, "Can you hear me now?"

How about the parent that says,"Are you listening to me?" or the teen who says to the parent, "You don't understand!"

Here's the good news. God hears more than your words. He knows your meaning. Want to hear Him? Try getting a little closer.

2 Peter 3:18 (CEV)
18 Let the wonderful kindness and the understanding that come from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ help you to keep on growing. Praise Jesus now and forever! Amen.

Sunday, 28 January 2007

Aberfoyle Park, South Australia

So here is the front entrance of the Aberfoyle Park Corps. More exciting than that is what goes on inside. God is alive here. I'd take my family here. Good corps officers. Good soldiers and adherents. Good music. Good, friendly atmosphere. Do you want to learn more of the Lord and worship Him authentically? Come to Aberfoyle Park.

Accompanied by the capable divisional leaders, Majors Dennis and Pat Rowe, we simply enjoyed every minute of this stop. Hallelujah!

Jeremiah 7:2 (AMP)
2 Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house and proclaim there this word and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who enter in at these gates to worship the Lord.

Saturday, 27 January 2007

Little Footprints Playground

Here in Aberfoyle Park, South Australia we enjoyed the official opening and dedication of the Little Footprints Playground. It's inside the corps building which used to be the city council chambers. Now it has the potential to minister to young families in unique ways. Connected to the play area is a cafe as well. Good coffee.

The Corps Officers, Captains Bruce and Lyn Ballentyne have produced a remarkable space to be used for remarkable children in remarkable ways. They're reaching out missionally and glorifying God in the process. Congratulations to all who have helped to make it so terrific.

Proverbs 22:6 (MSG)
6 Point your kids in the right direction— when they're old they won't be lost.

Friday, 26 January 2007

Order of Australia

The Prime Minister announced awards today relating to the Order of Australia. I am pleased to confirm that two Salvos were recognised as follows:

John Dalziel (OF) - Medal of the Order of Australia - For service to the community in the areas of social justice and welfare through The Salvation Army.

Commissioner Ivan Lang (Rtd.) - Membership in the Order of Australia - For service to the community through a range of executive, public relations and social welfare roles with The Salvation Army, and as a supporter of disadvantaged people in Southern Asia, the South Pacific and East Asia.

We salute these Salvationists and declare our gratitude to God for them.

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, 25 January 2007

International Salvation Army

As we serve the Lord in TSA, let's remember the significance of the international Salvation Army. This is a large and encompassing movement that shouldn't be reduced in our thinking, praying or planning. We must be inclusive in our faith.

When we read the global news, do we set out to consider how it would be affecting our brothers and sisters? We should. The issues are vast and the complexities confounding, but the Lord who raised us up is capable to sustain and advance His mission through us.

We still believe that God has raised us to win the world for Him. It always starts with us. It always begins now. Hallelujah!

Revelation 11:15 (MSG)
15 The seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices in Heaven sang out, The kingdom of the world is now the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah! He will rule forever and ever!

Wednesday, 24 January 2007


There's always room for reconciliation. With God, healing is not only possible, but preferable. Every human relationship would benefit by the grace of God. He would extend His love into our lives in creative and constructive ways. He would draw us together to His delight and ours. We would find peace and joy in new heights.

Imagine heaven. That's what I'm writing about. It is possible as long as we're open to reconciliation; first with God, then with each other. Can we make an effort to make it happen? We should. Let us lay aside our prejudices and our pride. Let us seek the grace of God and move towards peace.

John 14:27 (NIV)
27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

The Ocean

Wide, wide as the ocean, high as the heavens above, Deep, Deep as the deepest sea, is my Saviour's love. I, though so unworthy, still am a child of His care; for His Word Teaches me that His love reaches me everywhere.

Sung in faith as a child and remembered to be authentic as an adult. God's love is like the ocean...large and convincing.

We made it to the ocean tonight. It is beautiful and has multiple parallels to God's love. Unlimited. Unconditional. Uncompromising.

Proverbs 25:3 (MSG)
3 Like the horizons for breadth and the ocean for depth, the understanding of a good leader is broad and deep.

Monday, 22 January 2007

Waverly Temple

On Sunday night the Eastern Victoria Division hosted their New Officer Welcome and Cadets' Farewell in a well attended meeting at Waverly Temple. Majors Ron and Robyn Clinch were firing on all cylinders to the glory of God. The Waverly Temple Band was superb with creative arrangements abounding and the Ringwood Songsters sang a Brooklyn Tabernacle Song that we joined in on.

Major Robyn Clinch gave the compelling message as we all considered our roles in the Kingdom of God. Her challenge was appropriate for the hour and for the people in attendance. The meeting was full of energy and passion. God blessed us all.

Psalms 96:9 (MSG)
9 Bow before the beauty of God, Then to your knees—everyone worship!

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Camberwell Corps

Sunday morning meeting at the Camberwell Corps is a sacred experience. In summer (for the month of January), they have consolidated their two morning meetings into one that was a blessing. Major Darvin Carpenter gave the message in fine form and Christine Dalziel presented the gospel truths in a scriptural reflective moment. She too was superb in her presentation and challenge to the congregation.

This is a solid corps to visit or to soldier at. They know how to make you feel welcome and the worship is most appropriate. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by whether it's on a Sunday or not. They have plenty to do through the week.

Revelation 15:4 (NIV)
4 Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."

Saturday, 20 January 2007

It's Raining

If you're aware of the Australian drought, you will celebrate with us for the rain we've had today. I'm often intrigued when the news reports the goodness of the rain, but also reports the flooding caused by it. It happened yesterday too with the affect of the rain on the bush fires. The report stated that the rain had helped slow down the fires, but...the rain hampered the fire fighting because the firemen were unable to start the backfires to better control the direction and limits of the fire.

We do that in so many ways. Consider the prayers that ascend to heaven. More rain, no rain. More heat, less heat. Help my team win. No, help my team win.

Let God be in control. Pray in the Spirit. Trust Him for the right outcome. He hears our prayers and knows what's best. You can count on Him.

Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Friday, 19 January 2007

Captive Audience

What do these have in common?

* Children's Court
* Melbourne Magistrates Court
* Melbourne Assessment Prison
* Dame Phylis Frost Centre

They're all in Victoria.
We visited them all today.
They're all part of our Court & Prison Services.
They have SA Chaplains who are dedicated, professional, caring, and hopeful.

The mission of the Army is in good hands with these extraordinary people; so too are Major Doug Thomas, Assistant Divisional Commander and Major David Brunt, State Coordinator for Court & Prison Service.

Hebrews 13:3 (NIV)
3 Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

THQ Welcome

We enjoyed welcoming new officers who have recently been appointed to Territorial Headquarters. Each one of them is needed and have been carefully selected for their specific roles.

Across the territory, new officers are being welcomed and installed to the glory of God. This time of the year affords fresh opportunities and new starts. This should be the moment to signal new approaches and renewed interest in mission. Maybe the language, "we never did it that way before" can find itself where it belongs and we can liven our ministries and regenerate our hopes.

Please give it a go. Make the best of these transitions and welcome those who are new among us.

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV)
19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007


This stands for the Melbourne Staff Band. They're a fine group of Salvationist musicians who voluntarily gather on a regular basis to rehearse and minister in the name of the Lord. They conducted a North American Tour this past year to rave reviews and satisfied audiences.

They're not your father's brass band. Their message and method are contemporary and inspiring. Bandmaster Ken Waterworth is a capable leader who is setting the place and a pace for all brass bands. We would do well to encourage the development of young brass players in the corps. It's still a viable outreach and retainer of people with an interest in serving God.

1 Chronicles 15:28 (MSG)
28 On they came, all Israel on parade bringing up the Chest of the Covenant of God, shouting and cheering, playing every kind of brass and percussion and string instrument.

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Coming Attractions

There are some things that must really excite God. Knowing that He cares for us more than anyone else, imagine His excitement over what He knows about us and our future. He knows who will win the Australian Open. He knows the winner of the Super Bowl. He knows what's coming up in your life...a romance...a new job...a baby.

Some might say I'm making Him too human. He loves us deeply. He knows us intimately. He also knows of the joy we will experience when we see Him face to face. He delights in us. I have a hope that He is excited about our future. He's put that excitement in me. Hallelujah!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Monday, 15 January 2007

Commissioner Brian Morgan

As we journey in our pilgrimage, we meet people of all walks. We are fortunate to have met Commissioner Brian Morgan. He retired from active officership as the Territorial Commander of the Australia East Territory a few years ago. He now lives in Melbourne, where he and his wife Carolyn are influencing their corps, division and the territory at large.

You will rarely find a person so bright and joyful. His witness is vibrant and his message consistent. "Serve the Lord with gladness." Look for him. Learn from him. Listen to him. He reflects the glory of God.

Psalms 100:2 (NKJV)
2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.

Sunday, 14 January 2007


Now here's a great idea for those who sense a calling by God for full time service in TSA. We witnessed the warranting of Lieutenants today by the Chief Secretary. He capably conducted the ceremony and promptly asked the Lieutenants for their testimony.

Both of them gave beautiful words about how God wants to use them for His service and how He has provided for this to happen. I spoke to another Lieutenant to be at the VCAC Concert on Friday night. Altogether, we have 65 or so Lieutenants in this territory. They are some of the finest Salvationists I've met.

Is God calling you for such an opportunity? Talk to your Corps Officer or to your Divisional Commander. They will give you the right direction. Trust the Lord. He will only lead you in ways He will provide for you.

Genesis 22:14 (NIV)
14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Be The Salvos

The standing of TSA in Australia is deep and wide. All ages have a confidence in who we are and what we do. For over 126 years, Salvos have been serving in God's name in substantive ways to His glory. This is a legacy.

It also should be a War Cry. "Thank God for the Salvos" is a genuine sentiment that ought to encourage us in the battle for the righteousness and justice of God. Our predecessors have done it. So can we.

Let's resist resting on our laurels and intensify our efforts to "Be the Salvos." If we live up to our name, we will glorify His name.

Philippians 2:10 (NIV)
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

Friday, 12 January 2007

VCAC Concert

Vocal, dance, timbrel, drama, audio-visual, brass, big band, worship bands, you name it. They were all on display tonight at the Victorian Creative Arts Camp Concert. The hall was very full and we enjoyed the presence of God throughout the many performances.

Special thanks to Captain Tracey Davies and Graeme Mawson for leading the encampment so effectively. Each aspect of the arts we witnessed, was a delight and well done.

If you want your young people to be a part of a strongly spiritual experience in the development of their gifts, plan to send them to VCAC next year. You'll be glad you did.

Galatians 6:5 (MSG)
5 Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.

Thursday, 11 January 2007

Drought Relief

Australian farmers and rural communities are suffering severe hardship after years of drought.

The Salvation Army believes there is an urgent need to provide practical assistance and support to those in crisis. To do this, we request your immediate help to raise $2 million that will begin to help them in ways that include:

* Provision of drinking water
* Relief provision (groceries and other assistance)
* School expenses
* Outreach
* Community and social activities

Click here for more information ...

Donations can be made on the web, or by phoning 13 72 58, or at any Westpac branch.

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
11 The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

The Basin Centre

The Basin Centre is a Farm Colony right out of In Darkest England.It contains a Drug and Alcohol Recovery Program and a Dairy Farm. The land is beautiful and the combination of the work therapy in the farm has proven effective through the years.

Imagine the creative vision that possessed the founder in such a scheme. Do we have such creative vision today? Is it possible that it was the founder who thought up all these great ideas or maybe the people around him? How is it we gather such creative genius? I believe it comes with confidence in God and who He places around you. We're seeing it here. Hallelujah!

Habakkuk 2:3 (MSG)
3 This vision-message is a witness pointing to what's coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn't lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It's on its way. It will come right on time.

Tuesday, 9 January 2007


There are "truth in advertising" laws. They exist for the protection of us all. Who wants to buy snake oil, claiming to cure everything from the grip to baldness? I know. Baldness isn't a disease. None the less, how about some of the products that promise to deliver romance, status, or longer life? I'm given to understand that if a product cannot deliver, a person can claim a refund, or, in the case of an advertised price, a person can demand a sale as advertised.

Now we say that Christ gives us abundant life. If we apply the "truth in advertising principles," what recourse do our acquaintances have when we don't deliver? "And you say you are a Christian..." Doesn't that just give you a pain? So don't let it happen. Practise makes perfect.

1 Corinthians 14:1 (MSG)
1 Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth.

Monday, 8 January 2007

Victoria Creative Arts Camp

It's that time of the year again when the youth get together for an intensive week of creative arts. Carolyn and I stopped by today and shared the Word. It was good for us. Considering the great kids and leaders who are there, it's a part of the plan of God for our territory.

This year they're meeting at a resort on Phillip Island and the theme is eXtreme. Here's the pitch from their advertisement: "Join youth and young adults from across Victoria and beyond as we explore what it looks like to live a life that is eXtreme. The 2007 Victorian Creative Arts Camp will incorporate six days of skills development, spiritual enrichment and social interaction. You won’t want to miss out on what eXtreme has to offer!" You can check it out by following this link.

Now that you've read about it, pray for them all and think about coming to the final Concert on Friday night @ 7:30 pm, The Besen Centre,87-89 Station Street, Burwood, Melway reference 61 C5

John 10:10 (MSG)
10 A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

Sunday, 7 January 2007

What are you thinking about?

Take a few minutes and record your thoughts. What have you captured? Is it a surprise? Is it honest? Have you seized the depth of your soul in the process? Do you know where that is and how to access it?

If we can take the hand of God and measure our thoughts in the integrity of our lives, we may be able to realize the hopefulness of our relationship in Him. This is near the essence of who we are. Take no thought of the images you are conveying in your world. Consider your center.

With God there, where He belongs, then how is this manifest in what you are thinking about? Abandon all else for your love in Him. Why do you do what you do? What are you thinking about?

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)
7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

Saturday, 6 January 2007

Choice Link of the Week

In the course of communicating here, I come across a few links that are noteworthy. As an experiment, I will be posting my "choice links for the week" on the sidebar to the right.

For this week, I'm suggesting a link of Captain Debbie Messenger who is serving the Lord in the Philippines. She is honoring Him with her life in an undeniable manner. Just take a minute to look at over and see what's happening.

Will you also adapt a discipline of mine and pray over what you read as you read it on her site? Thanks. God be with you and your ministry, Debbie.

2 Corinthians 4:1 (NIV)
1 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.

Friday, 5 January 2007


The nourishment we are drawn to speaks about our appetites. Fast food craver? Gourmet preferences? Meat and potatoes person? Vegetarian? Starbucks addict? What does it all say about us?

I'm really thinking about the appetites of our lives...those things and experiences that draw us to them. Which of our appetites are constructive to our spiritual growth? We won't survive without nourishment. Biblical fasting never includes denying oneself spiritual nourishment.

All this to ask what our appetites say about our spiritual life and sustenance we depend upon. Let us look to God for nourishment according to His word and according to the Word.

John 6:35 (NIV)
35 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Thursday, 4 January 2007

Marching Along

I've learned to believe that faithfulness delights God. This is loving obedience. It is consistent with everything the Bible teaches and all that Jesus demonstrated. This is everyday solid witness to grace in regular matters and occasionally, in special ways as well.

It is in the journey that the grace of God is ultimately recognised and understood. Our regular efforts can display the holiness and lovingness of God. God is primarily revealed on these terms. So I am blessed to be in the company of family and associates who are, in fact, marching along. I believe they do so to the glory of God.

3 John 1:3 (NIV)
3 It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth.

Wednesday, 3 January 2007

Local Leaders

The strength and continuity of a good corps comes from God. In my experience it involves a cadre of solid local leaders. These are the people who accept responsibilities in the corps and they are just plain vital.

Are you a local leader? Why not? I've never known a corps to have too many. Not been asked? Don't wait for that. Consult the Spirit of God. If He affirms you in this way, approach your Corps Sargent Major or Corps Officer. They will be receptive. Tell them what the Spirit told you.

Deuteronomy 13:18 (MSG)
18 Yes. Obediently listen to God, your God. Keep all his commands that I am giving you today. Do the right thing in the eyes of God, your God.

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Soldiers on the front line

If you want your Corps Officer to be on fire, light her or him up with the flame of your own experience. Do you want to see your DC excited in the Spirit? Show the DC the fireworks in your spirit by the grace of God. How about your parents...or your friends...or even your kids. The fire of the Spirit is contagious when it is authentic. Hallelujah!

We have such an impression and impact on the people around us. Can we embrace it and accept the responsibility and challenge? We must! Don't be found napping here. Reveal life in Christ in ways that are compelling and fruitful. The Spirit will enable you. You can depend on Him.

Ephesians 6:10 (MSG)
10 And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong.

Monday, 1 January 2007

Brighton Beach

Ken Duncan, Australia's color answer to the great photographer, Ansel Adams, has done as much for tourism in Australia as he has for photography. He also allowed us to collaborate with him in the production of a beautiful calendar of 12 of his Aussie photos. Thank you, Mr. Duncan.

One of his photos, although not in the calendar is a shot of the colorful beach houses on Brighton Beach, on the edge of Melbourne. We've had it on our list of places to visit since we were at the Ken Duncan studio on the South Bank.

It was a sunny summer afternoon and a memorable way to spend the first day of 2007. We even added color to our cheeks from being there in the sunshine. I think Mr. Duncan would approve.

Luke 12:27 (MSG)
"Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They don't fuss with their appearance—but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them."