Saturday, 31 March 2007

Brass and more brass

Tonight at the Box Hill Corps we enjoyed the music of the Waverly Temple Youth Band, the Kew Band and the Melbourne Staff Band. It was a brass feast with many different variations of style and performance. We soaked it all in, sitting in the centre of the second row. There were moments that my hair went straight back for the powerful sound coming forth.

I'll not commit myself to having a favourite piece, but I will say I was overjoyed with the Youth Band. Their potential is unlimited and the Waverly Temple Corps musicians are to be congratulated. If there were no Youth Band, then there would eventually be no MSB or Kew Band. It's a simple reality, so let's get it together to help the kids learn and participate in worship. Hallelujah!

Psalms 98:1 (NIV)
1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.

Friday, 30 March 2007

Melbourne Airport

The employees and leadership of the Melbourne Airport has a healthy concern for their neighbors. So much so, that they support our work in our Jacana program considerably. This is a very important mission, close to the airport, that benefits wonderfully by the interest of the Airport. Thank God for these good citizens and their intentions to do something for the people in their neighborhood.

Just as these good people have a willingness to help others, they become partners with us in our journey to serve God by helping mankind. There are many partners out there and we need to get together even more strategically in the days to come. I look forward to the opportunities. Hallelujah!

1 John 3:18 (CEV)
18 Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it.

Thursday, 29 March 2007


We have the joy to be able to walk to work. It isn't far at all, nor does it involve a hill. I love coming home, unlatching the gate at the quarters and walking in the front door. No car required. Now I have had plenty of training in this department. As a child, I walked to school ten miles through two feet of snow, uphill both ways. At least that's the speech we give our kids.

Walking is good exercise. Walking is easy for most people. As a matter of fact, walking with God doesn't even require working legs or feet. Walking with Him is never uphill, nor downhill. It is never impeded by the snow or the weather in any way. Walking with Him is forever. Walking with Him is for everyone...including you and me. Hallelujah!

Proverbs 13:20 (MSG)
20 Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007


A neo is a new expression of SA ministry. One such neo is found at Shop 16, also known as Reservoir. Under the leadership of Lieutenants Cate Daniels and Gen Petersen this neo is right up the founder's proverbial alley. Today, we met them there along with their competent team and their great kids. Simultaneously, the kids enjoyed making chocolates (Carolyn helped here), colouring, and playing outdoor games (It was my first cricket game to play in).

We witnessed the grace of God through all of the leaders towards the children and their care givers. Today wasn't the day for the Bible study, but they learned a lot about the 13th chapter of First Corinthians...even the kids that don't read. Hallelujah!

Thanks, friends. You remind me of why God called us into His work.

2 Corinthians 9:12 (NIV)
12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Lt. Colonels John and Helen Staite

The phrase, salt of the earth comes to mind. My experience with these good folk is limited to 8 months where they have been in the office of the National Secretary of Australia in Canberra. I was there for their finish and the installation of their successor.

It's been in these encounters that we have gotten the idea that John and Helen have served the Lord with integrity and faithfulness. They are loved everywhere they go and their associates and leaders only have a high regard for them. They're in their retirement quarters now and are settling into what will likely be their longest appointment. If you know them, thank God for them. If you encounter them, consider it a privilege.

Matthew 5:16 (CEV)
16 Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.

Monday, 26 March 2007

Time changes

Over the weekend we changed our clocks by moving them back one hour. In those quiet moments of the night, Australia went from five time zones to three. It was interesting today to note that a number of computers didn't take the changes so well. Some simply refused to change while others that did change, chose not to change on the calendars or diaries. Either way, when the realities changed around them, these machines who did their own thing were wrong.

With life as dynamic as it is, we're bound for change whether we like it or not. Not unlike these computers who resisted, we will find ourselves in the wrong place saying the wrong things with wrong expectations. Time to change?

2 Peter 3:9 (MSG)
9 God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

Freedom Day

Today the Territorial Youth Department - Lt. David Collinson & company - set up Freedom Day to celebrate the anniversary of the cessation of slavery in the commonwealth countries as of 200 years ago. Under the leadership of William Wilberforce this was accomplished to the glory of God. His pastor was John Newton, former slave ship owner and eventual author of the song, Amazing Grace.

From 3 pm to 10 pm, different music groups reformed on stage on the South Bank, Melbourne while thousands of people passed by and stopped to see what was going on. In the midst of the crowd, many of the youth wore "For Sale" signs on themselves to raise the consciousness of those human beings who have been sold around the world and find themselves in slavery. It's ungodly.

John 8:36 (NIV)
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Melbourne Staff Songsters

We enjoyed the concert tonight of the Melbourne Staff Songsters and friends. A few of the items included folks who have been joining them in rehearsals for a while, so they were in the concert as well. There was also the Box Hill Corps Concert Band under the direction of CSM Rob Beasey. Of course, the MSS are led by Brian Hogg. Major Laurie Robertson is the executive Officer and gave a compelling devotional tonight.

Now I've already written that it was a concert, although it would be better characterised by the word worship. At many points throughout the program, the audience joined in praise to the Lord and several songster items were gratified with silence as opposed to applause. We were blessed to have been there.

Isaiah 42:10 (CEV)
10 Tell the whole world to sing a new song to the Lord! Tell those who sail the ocean and those who live far away to join in the praise.

Friday, 23 March 2007


Our strength and our affect is exponentially multiplied by the partners we engage. In light of glorifying God, remember, He wants us to connect. "By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another." Think about it. He's calling us to linkages that demonstrate the most simple of This is not love like between man and woman or described in a love song. It is deeper and more eternal. It includes selflessness and respect for another, unconditionally. Try it without God and you will fail. With Him, it's the miracle.

The application is as much individual as it is corporate. Will you join me in this pursuit or do you plan to go it alone?

1 John 1:3 (AMP)
3 What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

Thursday, 22 March 2007

The Flying Padre

Major David Shrimpton is the Flying Padre in our Territory. His wife, Jenny supports him in their ministry in the Northern Territory of Australia as well as Western Australia. They fly in the dry season out of Darwin to cattle stations and schools where they minister to farmers, ranchers, their ranch hands, all of their families and many Aboriginal Peoples. They are truly God led and amazing.

We journeyed with him recently to oversee drought affected areas. In the photo above you will also see Major Lyn Cochrane, our Drought Relief Coordinator. Paul Dillon says in his song, "The waters are low, but the spirits are high..." As we flew over this area, the significance of the drought was apparent...but so is the provision of God. Another song writer wrote, "God will make a way when there seems to be no way..."

We are privileged to be a part of His solution in these dry days.

Psalms 63:1 (NIV)
1 O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Spiritual Day

Might this be another way to say the Sabbath or Sunday? The Training College has it right. Set aside a special day for deep spiritual reflection and considerations. Everything in the day is geared for this purpose and those participating can do so with elevated levels of expectation for these deeper hours with God.

God drew us near to Him and we enjoyed the strength of His love. His grace is again sufficient and He is altogether worthy of our worship. He receives us as we are and welcomes us even with our short comings. His love is unconditional. He desires that we seek Him. Hallelujah!

So, someone at the Training College just selects a regular day to make it Spiritual...brilliant!

1 Peter 2:5 (NIV)
5 you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007


In the country, an incredible ministry Horsham of the Western Victoria Division. The servants in the photo are a collection of those who support this ministry with their lives and personal efforts.

Our visit was to focus on drought relief in the country and we received all that and much more. Major Lyn Cochrane, Drought Relief Coordinator helped us to see the affects of the drought from the air in the SA Cessna operated by the Flying Padre, Captain David Shrimpton. We also visited a farm and met with the family there. Our concern for the farmers and their families is well placed.

At the corps, we were greeted by the Soup Kitchen team, witnessed the ministry of the Truly Heavenly Hair and Beauty salon of the corps, and met with a number of uniformed Salvos to share the Word of God. Thank you, Lord for these faithful people and these many ministries in your name.

Matthew 18:20 (NIV)
20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

Monday, 19 March 2007


How's your strength? Did you ever see a Charles Atlas advert and secretly desired to be like him? I know this is a male question, ladies, try to use your imagination. I have seen adverts about body building for women too. The point has to do with our concept of strength. I really wasn't thinking of muscles anyway. I was thinking of inner strength.

Even the least physically fit person can have a strength that serves the motivation of that person. This strength helps us with our disciplines and gives us courage for the day. It's where this strength dissipates that depression begins to take over.

We are designed to draw this strength from the Lord, a holy and eternal source. If we look elsewhere for this strength, we will only be disappointed and discouraged. The Lord delights in the relationship that depends upon His strength. Go for it and enjoy the life.

Exodus 15:2 (NIV)
2 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Moreland City Corps

Sharing it's location with the Melbourne Central Divisional Headquarters, the Moreland City Corps is a fine expression of dynamic Salvationism. We shared there in worship today along with Majors Brian and Jenny Pratt from DHQ. The local officers and the corps leaders, Majors Stephen and Chris Black and Major Kaye Seccombe are enjoying a Godly atmosphere of interested worshipers and effective support groups in music, technology and more.

If you're near the neighborhood or know someone who is. Send them over to this corps. They'll be warmly welcomed and embraced by the Spirit of God through those who are there. There is a growing, healthy corps here. Hallelujah!

1 John 1:7 (NIV)
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

Saturday, 17 March 2007


Waiting in line for something can be disconcerting. Does it seem to you that when you're waiting in line and there are two lines, that the other line is moving faster? Do you ever change your mind when you were planning to do something and upon discovering a long line, you changed your mind? How about after you die, you find yourself in a line? Can you imagine where you've arrived?

In our A.D.D. world, waiting is less and less expected and mostly unappreciated. The expression, "I can't wait to..." is a common phrase in most of our vocabularies. So when the Scriptures call us to wait upon the Lord, how do we do it? I suggest we do so not as if we were sitting on our hands in a waiting room, but rather as a waiter in a restaurant, serving Him. Waiting upon the Lord is our service.

Psalms 33:20 (NIV)
20 We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.

Friday, 16 March 2007


This is an essential aspect of the Christian faith: Connecting. Isolationism and seclusion are not strong cards of our life. We just need to get out more often. All of us. The getting out is more than going out. It is in the connecting that we foster and facilitate relationships. It is in the relationships that we grow and support others to do the same. Did I mention that it can actually be fun?

Let's not be couch potatoes. Get up from the computer screen or X-Box. Make a move for the door and meet some people. We are made in the image of God. Want to see God? Get out and get it on. Get it together and get together. Look for God in the Connections. Going to make Connections? I am.

Genesis 1:27 (NIV)
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Thursday, 15 March 2007

No Meeting Thursday

Who says miracles don't exist today. They're wrong. One of the miracles I encountered today was having a no meeting day. That is, I had no meetings to go to or lead today. Did I get my work done today or what?

Since I am in leadership, many of the meetings I attend, I lead. My commitment to these is that no meeting is boring. Some days I think some of my meeting friends wish there was a little less excitement. That's going to have to be someone else's meeting. I'm looking for life. Hallelujah!

There's a meeting in the air I intend to make where the leader is undeniably the Lord. He has made a way for each of us to be there and not be bored. Coming to the meeting?

Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)
25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Information Technology

Now it appears that this posting may work. How ironic that on this subject there would be substantial difficulty. I've spent significant time trying to rectify the problem and even joined the blogger help forum to resolve it.

When this posts, that'll be evidence that somewhere in the blogger world, the problem was solved.

John 16:33 (MSG)
33 I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world."

Monday, 12 March 2007

Moomba Parade

Today being Labour Day and a holiday in Melbourne, we enjoyed the annual Moomba Parade and Melbourne Water Festival. Reports reveal that over 200,000 people were there with us. There were rides, professional water ski competitions, non-professional bath tub racing on the river. They look more difficult than canoes.

It was, thankfully, a non-alcoholic event, complete with signs and promises of conviction for violators. It made it easy for the families to enjoy themselves in a relatively safe environment. It was a day of celebration.

I can see that type of celebration of God's provision, like we hope to do at Connections 2007. It will be a different scale, but should be as interesting and even more so. I hope you make Connections.

1 John 4:9 (Phillips NT)
9 To us, the greatest demonstration of God's love for us has been his sending his only Son into the world to give us life through him. We see real love, not in that fact that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to make personal atonement for our sins.

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Echuca Anniversary

God came upon us today in Echuca. He made matters abundantly clear to us as we gathered in His name and looked at His Word. Hallelujah!

Captains Colin and Anne Lane and Lieutenant Cheryl Butcher have had a great week celebrating the corps' 120th anniversary. The Melbourne Staff Band was there last week and they've had special meetings almost every night as well. Today, with the divisional leaders, Lt. Colonel Jocelyn Knapp and Major Cilla Bone, we celebrated why the corps is still alive today with a bright hope for tomorrow. It is the presence of God.

2 Timothy 4:1-2 (NIV)
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Echuca 120

The Echuca Corps of the Northern Victoria Division is celebrating their 120th Corps Anniversary. Last weekend they hosted the Melbourne Staff Band. This weekend, Carolyn and I are here for the festivities. Tonight we enjoyed an anniversary dinner at the corps where the Divisional Leaders, soldiers and friends gathered to enjoy the historic displays and the fellowship.

I get the impression that while they are celebrating the provision of God for 120 years, they are also projecting the next 120 years as a time in which God abounds in them and through them. There's life here that won't be suppressed or lulled into a sleepy salvationism. We're expecting a visit by the Holy Spirit tomorrow and a realisation by all that God is interested in Echuca. Hallelujah!

Ephesians 1:6 (MSG)
6 He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.

Friday, 9 March 2007

WA Youth Workers

A mob of great people came by today to say hello. They're from the Western Australia Division and they're all in youth work. As we were having a chat, the Spirit came upon me to confirm that He is proud of them, it is His work they are doing, and He is offering His abundance for their lives and mission.

How do I know? Just ask the crew that was there. They witnessed the Spirit.

How do you know when God is speaking to you? First of all, He has written a whole book for us to hear what He's saying to us. Then there are moments when you know. Hallelujah!

God's abundance is for you too. Seek Him today.

Deuteronomy 6:3 (MSG)
3 Listen obediently, Israel. Do what you're told so that you'll have a good life, a life of abundance and bounty, just as God promised, in a land abounding in milk and honey.

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Heads of Churches

Being a part of the Heads of Churches of Australia is a dynamic opportunity for the Salvos to have a voice in this larger community. It represents a brilliant group of Christian leaders who are attempting to serve the Lord within their denominational disciplines. There is much to learn from this group and much to share. Commissioner Les Strong belongs with me and represents us all quite well.

While the body of Christ can be a church, it can also refer to the church. When you listen to the hearts of these representatives, you get a sense of their place in the body. The Salvos have a place. That's for sure. God has raised us up for His good purposes and we are far from finished in our task. I believe that while we have come a long way and contributed greatly, we've more to do in the Kingdom.

I pray you're with us.

1 Corinthians 12:12 (Phillips NT)
12 As the human body, which has many parts, is a unity, and those parts, despite their multiplicity, constitute one single body, so it is with the body of Christ. For we were all baptised by the Spirit into one body, whether we were Jews, Gentiles, slaves or free men, and we have all had experience of the same Spirit.

Tuesday, 6 March 2007


Our commitment to Christ requires careful investments. We can't afford to lose anything in the process of the mission. These investments have to represent our best efforts and may simply require our best energy. The returns are critical to the Kingdom.

With the right investments, the Kingdom will grow and God will be glorified by the richness of our efforts. We need to pray about these investments and their returns.

OK. I can't write anymore until I clarify that the investments that mean so much to us are our investments in people...not money. So maybe you knew what I was on about from the beginning. Good for you. You know my heart. Make an investment today in another person. There's always a market for Spiritual investments.

1 Timothy 6:19 (TLB)
19 By doing this they will be storing up real treasure for themselves in heaven--it is the only safe investment for eternity! And they will be living a fruitful Christian life down here as well.

Monday, 5 March 2007

Connections 2007

Building upon a very healthy expression of Salvationism, we are announcing the coming event and plan that will refresh the way we look at TSA in the Australian Southern Territory. It is time for us to consider just who we are in today's terms and in light of today's issues. It is time for a fresh engagement of the Holy Spirit in the contemporary context of our mission.

On the occasion of the visit of General Shaw Clifton and Commissioner Helen Clifton, we will draw together the year 2007 Salvos who properly include the Salvationists, SA employees, volunteers and other brothers and sisters who share in our hopes to heal broken people in the cause of leading them to Christ. Today's Salvation Army needs to be an inclusive Army in order to widen the influence of God's love in our land.

I hope you're with us. Look for the announcements as they begin to appear and plan to make "Connections."

John 15:4 (CEV)
4 Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. Just as a branch cannot produce fruit unless it stays joined to the vine, you cannot produce fruit unless you stay joined to me.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

The Salvation Army Around the World

The participation of the Administrative Leaders Training Course delegates in the Waverley Temple meeting tonight brings to mind the greatness of the global Salvation Army. The message was given by the delegate from Brazil, Lt. Colonel Deise Eliasen. She spoke quite well in English. Her original tongue is Portuguese.

When you begin to think TSA has its limits, consider how unlimited it is around the world. In so many languages and countries. It should excite our hearts as an image of heaven when we will all gather together at the feet of Jesus. Of course, we will finally be speaking His language perfectly. Do you know which language that is? The language of love.

1 Corinthians 13:1 (TLB)
1 If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn't love others, I would only be making noise.

Saturday, 3 March 2007

Seeing Christ

God's plan includes seeing Christ. I'm convinced He has established His Kingdom so that we can observe the presence of Christ every day. All through Jesus' ministry He gives the disciples and us means by which we can relate to Him and see Him at work. The Last Supper is substantially means by which we can partake of His glory and I believe it is intended for daily and holy understanding.

His references to the fields, the farmers, the crops, the sheep and other animals are all a part of our existing world that bring into harmony with the King in the Kingdom of God. Enjoy the day in God's presence. Know how to see Him and share in His love.

1 John 3:2 (MSG)
2 But friends, that's exactly who we are: children of God. And that's only the beginning. Who knows how we'll end up! What we know is that when Christ is openly revealed, we'll see him—and in seeing him, become like him.

Friday, 2 March 2007

Aboriginal Peoples

We have a deep commitment to the Aboriginal Peoples in this territory. Since the beginning of the 'Army' here, there has been a conscientious effort to connect and embrace Aboriginal Peoples as children of God.

While I don't know enough about our history to make bold claims about amazing achievements, I do know enough to be convinced we simply need to walk together. On the basis of respect and equality we may be able to better share the grace of our Lord. He loves every person of every culture and bids us follow His example. It shouldn't be so hard.

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

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Autumn 2007

Autumn has arrived and Summer is over for another year. With the changing seasons, we are reminded of the passing of time and the beautiful variations of our environment. God has designed such changes in our lives for us to enjoy the many contrasts He has planned for us. What is black without white? Sweet without sour? High without low? The list goes on.

Autumn signals the harvest and becomes a prelude to Winter. These changes help us to distinguish our days and months and they liven our perspectives. I'm glad for the changes. They help me to experience the distinctives in my life...for a change.

2 Peter 3:9 (MSG)
9 God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change.