Monday, 30 April 2007

Home Sweet Home

I read a quote from Lt. Colonel Sue Swanson recently, who said something like, "I have a home and TSA gives me a quarters to put it in." Her comment shows a healthy understanding of the matter of home. Doesn't it break your heart that so many people are homeless? It's further difficult to consider the youth and children who are homeless in our world...and in our neighborhood. I do mean to distinguish between residences and home.

Can we join efforts to make people feel at home when they come to the Army? ...or when we meet them where ever? The home part is deeper than the house. Homelessness on these terms is wider than we normally consider. Home is where you belong. Home is where you feel comfortable and safe. Sounds like the arms of Jesus.

Revelation 21:3 (MSG)
3 I heard a voice thunder from the Throne: "Look! Look! God has moved into the neighborhood, making his home with men and women! They're his people, he's their God.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Moonah, Tasmania

Our visit to Moonah, Tasmania was terrific, today. Majors Allan and Lorraine Daddow, Divisional Leaders were with us and supported the meeting in good form. Corps Officers, Captains Stephen and Linda Miller have a beautiful spirit and a great corps in which to minister.

On this day we honoured the Lord for His faithfulness to Arthur Main who celebrated his 90th birthday this weekend. He was given a special recognition in the Sunday meeting. He witnessed to the provision of God and celebrated his long life of service in TSA. Much of his family was present and many of them came from Western Australia. He was really happy to have them all there.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (MSG)
24 The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he'll do it!

Saturday, 28 April 2007


The Facebook phenomenon continues. Are you on? How many friends do you have listed? How many groups are you in? I'm in and I just plain don't know the answers to my own questions. It is a fascinating opportunity and one that is growing.

As it turns out, face is very important. There are many cultures where saving face is primary. Losing face is disgrace and that is almost unlivable for them.

Now consider that we are all made in the image of God. That tells me our face is one of love and understanding and holiness. With this understanding, we can face just about anything and not lose. It's in the book.

1 John 5:9 (MSG)
9 If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Main Thing cont'd

(please review previous post with comments)

I love Sunday meetings. It's where much of my spiritual formation was supported and many other people these days too. Many of us prepare for Sunday with more intentionality than other days of the week. Sunday meetings we will always have and value.

The dialogue about the other days of the week is not in contradistinction to Sunday. We need to give it great value, and we should give the other six days value as well. The measurement of Sunday fellowships and meetings does give an indicator of just that. Discerning people will know that.

Present culture does not see Sunday the same way past culture did. We must be available to do our best work every day. Please Lord, Let us see your way.

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.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Mainly Music

On a visit to Moonee Ponds today, we were treated to a Mainly Music session, conducted by one of the corps officers, Lieutenant Cynthia Stelling. About 12 mothers with their children were there, enjoying the ministry and having a lot of fun. This New Zealand based programme is in wide use in the territory. Last year there were 80,000 in attendance throughout the territory.

Part of the dialogue about the programme revealed a hope that somehow we might get these families to attend on Sunday as well. It's here I simply want to ask why? They already come on a Thursday. Isn't that a good day to draw them to Christ and into the fellowship? Should we not go with what God is honoring and perhaps rethink our ministry patterns?

I believe Lieutenants Don and Cynthia Stelling are going about this the right way and would suggest that the 80,000 in our territory is a wonderful gift of God to extend His kingdom.

Mark 10:14 (CEV)
14 When Jesus saw this, he became angry and said, "Let the children come to me! Don't try to stop them. People who are like these little children belong to the kingdom of God.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Anzac Day

On this day in 1915, a group of volunteer Australian and New Zealand soldiers found themselves wading ashore before dawn at a small beach on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. Many of these men were only teenagers, some as young as 16. All were anxious to prove their courage and national identity. Over the eight months following the landing, those young ANZACs underwent a 'trial by ordeal'. In total 36,000 Australian and New Zealand soldiers were killed or wounded at Gallipoli.

Carolyn and I proudly marched with the MSB in the Anzac Parade in Melbourne. We did so to show respect for the Anzacs and to embrace this significant Australian day. By the way, the MSB marches very well. I'm told they looked good on TV too.

Tonight we joined with the Red Shield Sub-Branch R.S.L. "Anzac Salute" at the Inala Village Chapel. The Classic Brass were terrific from Box Hill Corps and the leaders and members of the Red Shield unit made the event worthwhile.

John 15:13 (NIV)
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Woman Leaders in TSA

We have long celebrated the role of women in TSA. The 'Army' today is as strong as it is, in large measure, due to the leadership of women in the ranks. We have, however, been slack concerning women in administrative leadership. Women are grossly under represented in our leader ranks and we must do something about it.

Let me be clear. We have had and do have significant female leaders. Corps leadership represents significant leadership as do chaplains and other responsibilities. I believe that every officer role is a leader role and these are significant. I am concerned just now about administrative leaders. Are there married couples in our ranks that would manage well if the wife had a more dominant role in leadership then the husband? God is working in us on this subject. This is good.

Acts 2:18 (NIV)
18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.

Monday, 23 April 2007


Calling all Salvos! Search your heart to see if God is calling you to a life of challenge, purpose, holiness and service. Test God's plan for you by seeking to ascertain the feasibility of your future as an officer in TSA.

How about this: We have appointments that need to be filled now. Is this something you might do?

Or: Too many people are dying and going to hell. Would you help us stop the losses?

Perhaps: The need is the call.

Let me just say. If you even think it may be God's idea for you to serve in this way, step forward and celebrate your faith.

Mark 10:21 (MSG)
21 Jesus looked him hard in the eye—and loved him! He said, "There's one thing left: Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me."

Sunday, 22 April 2007


These are the initials of the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria. Today, in their good planning and wisdom they invited the Melbourne Staff Band for a Sunday afternoon concert. It's a beautiful venue and the acoustics were way better than one might have imagined at a glance. The room itself was on floor 17, where the view was fantastic.

The audience was very appreciative of the music and received the band quite well. The programme was unapologetically spiritual with great themes of God's love outlined nicely by graphics and lyrics on the screen. The Band Executive Officer led the programme with grace and proficiency.

Thank you, RACV for the courage to consider the value of God's unconditional love through the medium of music. Your willingness shows great respect for your members to make their own decisions by offering a choice to your good people.

Proverbs 19:21 (MSG)
21 We humans keep brainstorming options and plans, but God's purpose prevails.

Saturday, 21 April 2007


There have been a number of people in my life I would call a mentor. I owe them a great deal of gratitude. All of them have been Christians and many of them christian leaders. Even today, I will contact one of these good people when something strikes me as needing another opinion.

Let me encourage you to find such people in your life. The relationship need not be formal or even scheduled. It can resemble a friendship. The accountability and counsel is invaluable, and if the right person is chosen, will glorify God in you.

Isaiah 54:13 (MSG)
13 All your children will have God for their teacher— what a mentor for your children!

Friday, 20 April 2007

Getting it done

There are starters. There are managers. There are finishers. Not that we need any more labels, but in the Kingdom of God, where do you fit? Sometimes you hear the the expression, plan to finish well. There's something right about the injunction. What's the point of starting if you don't get to the finish?

Doesn't it just plain feel good to finish something? How about the conversation that doesn't know when to finish? Or how about the movie that passed the finish line long before the end of the movie? Most things are not as simple or even linear as start to finish. What I am sure of is that we will never finish well if we don't start.

Acts 20:24 (NIV)
24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

24/7 Prayer

Soon we will announce the re-installation of a 24/7 Prayer initiative in the territory. Stay tuned for the announcement of the person who has accepted this responsibility and for whom we need to pray. This is an area the enemy doesn't want us to enter. This is a plan he will fight.

I remember being in a conversation with holy people a little while ago where we were praying for a strategy. With clarity, the Holy Spirit said, "The strategy is prayer." I believe this effort will be the most significant step in the life of the territory in recent history. Everything from this moment on will be marked by this prayer movement and everything will be enhanced exponentially by the presence and grace of God. Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 5:17 (TLB)
17 Always keep on praying.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Virginia Tech

The loss of life at Virginia Tech is horrific. The enemy entered a heart and death is the result. This happens every time the enemy has his way.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.

The families need the grace of God more than ever. Let us pray God's love into their lives.

1 Peter 5:8 (NIV)
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

Home Cookin'

There's nothing better than a home cooked meal. Carolyn has always been a great cook. These days, we eat at home as often as possible and the food is terrific. I'm blessed.

I know there are thousands and more people around the world without a proper meal. We need to do all we can for them. They would love a home cooked meal. Can we get through to them and the rest of the world too?

You see, there's a home cooked meal waiting for us at the banquet table in heaven. Let's get out there and see who will come with us.

Luke 14:17 (NIV)
17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'

Monday, 16 April 2007

Alpha in Prisons

Having attended a presentation by Alpha to introduce Alpha in Prisons, I am reminded firstly of the strength of the Alpha Programme. It has successfully been used by thousands around the world to introduce many more thousands to the Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!

Now apply that success to the immense population of the world behind bars. Can't you just see the potential for the Kingdom of God? I can too. They reported tonight that recidivism in the UK has a real potential to diminish by near 40% for those who complete the course. That's worth a shout of praise to the Lord. I do know that the gospel of Jesus Christ will set any prisoner free no matter where they're incarcerated or for how long.

Psalms 146:7 (AMP)
7 Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets free the prisoners,

Sunday, 15 April 2007

Broadford, Victoria

In the realm of the Northern Victoria Division, you will find a good corps in Broadford under the leadership of Captains Gail and John Roberts. The community is country and has 2500-3000 people. Based upon the attendance today, they attract approximately 1.7% of the population. Contrast that with Melbourne. If you do, we should have about 45,000 people in worship each Sunday, which (at the moment) is not the case.

My point has little to do with numbers and more to do with strength. That's what I sensed today as we worshipped God together. If you're out that way or know someone who is, have them stop by. In all likelihood you'll be received warmly, witness the Spirit of God and enjoy His presence as we did today. God bless Broadford.

Genesis 13:17 (MSG)
17 So—on your feet, get moving! Walk through the country, its length and breadth; I'm giving it all to you."

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Save the World

All through Scripture we read of God's intention to save everyone in the world. Some days, after trying my best to draw a person towards salvation, I conclude, "Why Lord, didn't you just take us all for your own?" It's a naive question in that it ignores the demonstration of the love of God for us all. His plan for us leaves the relationship to be our choice. He has already, through Christ revealed His love for all. The rest is based upon our conscious decision to love Him.

So while I despair at those who reject His love, I do so knowing their ability to do so comes by the grace of God. The grace of God is always present. Please, Lord, make us even better at shining and sharing so more will see the light and know that you love them. Hallelujah!

2 John 1:3 (NIV)
3 Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father's Son, will be with us in truth and love.

Friday, 13 April 2007

Melbourne Central Division

We visited the new Divisional Headquarters building for the Melbourne Central Division today. The divisional leaders, Majors Rodney and Jenny Barnard are good at what they do because they are faithful servants of God. The whole team at the office is strong and supportive. It is a great place for ministry.

In the same building are the Moreland Corps and the Offices of the Crossroads Programme. We have visited the corps previously, so today we spent time at Crossroads. The professional staff there gave us descriptions of all the services they coordinate. It's obvious they know the importance of their work.

Isaiah 11:10 (MSG)
10 On that day, Jesse's Root will be raised high, posted as a rallying banner for the peoples. The nations will all come to him. His headquarters will be glorious.

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Australia Eastern Territory

Spending the day at the Australia Eastern Territorial Headquarters was a blessing. It's a beautifully appointed facility and it hosts some pretty terrific people. There's a good spirit there that is evidence of solid leadership and the presence of God. Thank you, friends for such a good day.

The Salvation Army in Australia takes every opportunity to convey a consistent message and mission. It's in meetings like the ones today that facilitate this solidarity. They're necessary and they're worthwhile.

Hebrews 13:7 (MSG)
7 Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all.

Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Wonders of the World

When we were young, there was occasional talk about the seven wonders of the world. I don't exactly remember what they were, although I can recall a few...Niagara Falls, the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the Great Wall of China...??

If we were doing the same today, one of the wonders would be the Sydney Opera House in the Sydney, Australia Harbour. It is absolutely remarkable and it changes with the tones of light available throughout the day. We ate dinner on the harbor with a direct view this evening. The weather was perfect to dine outdoors and the meal was superb. Thank you, Lord.

The most important wonder of the world is Jesus. Hallelujah!

Mark 9:15 (NIV)
15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him.

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Life and Death

Is it clear yet that what we do is about life and death? More important than anything else in the world, is our relationship with God through Jesus. More important...more significant...more essential...more wonderful...more beautiful...more fulfilling...than anything.

Imagine your most favourite experience...this is better. Imagine your deepest relationship...He is better...Imagine your highest joy. He's better.

Now think through the most important job in the world. Leading someone to Christ is way more important. How about winning he largest lottery in the world... No comparison to knowing Christ.

Knowing Christ will bring all of these aspects of life into glorious reality. The word calls it abundant life...and it is for all of us who do know Him.

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.

Monday, 9 April 2007

The Youth of the Army

We have the best kids in the world in The Salvation Army. They are trusting and growing in the grace of the Lord Jesus remarkably. He must be proud of them. I know I am.

Over the weekend we joined both the youth of the Eastern Victoria Division and the Melbourne Central Division in separate venues, but not separate in Spirit. They sing praises to the Lord and lift up their voices in prayer without reservation. We are beginning to see a new generation of Spiritually focused young people who are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!

Watch for them. Pray for them. Trust them...and don't lead them astray, but lead them to holiness in the name of Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:22 (NIV)
22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Sunday, 8 April 2007

He is Risen

Luke 24:6 (NIV)
6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:

Saturday, 7 April 2007

Silent Saturday

Psalms 16:8-11 (KJV)
8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.
10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.
11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Friday, 6 April 2007

Good Friday

John 19:30 (NIV)
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished." With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Maundy Thursday

The name 'Maundy' is derived from the command or mandatum by Christ at the Last Supper, to love one another:

'And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.' John 15:12

Wednesday, 4 April 2007


It's a joy to be with family. Often, as Salvos, we're called to be a father or mother to kids who simply need us to fill these roles for them. We must be ready to do so at any point. This only happens when we are available to others in our daily journey and it can happen without any specific work on our part.

There is a pain in the hearts of couples who are unable to have children. The alternatives are not as workable for every couple, but there are ways in which a person can connect in a paternal way. Not a replacement for a child of your own, but a role to fulfill for the glory of God.

I'd be lost without my family. Everyone needs one.

Joel 3:17 (AMP)
17 So shall you know, understand, and realize that I am the Lord your God, dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain. Then shall Jerusalem be holy, and strangers and foreigners [not born into the family of God] shall no more pass through it.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Creative Kids Camp

One hundred plus kids spent their Easter Camp at the Creative Kids Camp, led by the Children and Youth Departments of the Eastern Victoria Division. Their finale was tonight a the Box Hill Corps and it was a blast. There was singing, dancing, audio-visual arts, drama and loads of fun for all. The campers weren't restricted to the division. We saw kids there from all four Victoria Divisions.

Loved ones, this is worth the work. The kids were constructively engrossed in what they were doing and convincing in their shining witness of God's presence. Parents, Corps Officers, friends and strangers were all proud of the kids for their accomplishments. Lord, I imagine you were too. They honored you and demonstrated your joy convincingly.

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Monday, 2 April 2007

The Opal Group

As a part of the ministry of the Waverley Temple Corps, the Opal Group represents Salvos who have an acute interest in helping the poor overseas with micro-credit initiatives. Coming from successful business experiences, they have established a workable business model for these micro-businesses and are prepared to put their resources into action to serve the Lord in this way.

Is it possible that God has raised up this vibrant group of people to facilitate an even wider participating base to give international support in this way? I believe so. I thank God for each of them and will trust God for their future direction and service. Hallelujah!

Luke 19:40 (NIV)
40 "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."

Sunday, 1 April 2007

614 New Life Centre

The City Temple is the home of the 614 New Life Centre. God has been meeting there with people for 113 years. Today was no different. We worshipped Him around the moment of His triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. He drew us together in His love and we laid ourselves at His feet in love with Him.

This is a very real environment with very real people. So perfectly, God, who is very real, brought healing and grace and peace to us by being there. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. In love, he blends generations, cultures, and even different worlds together to His delight. Praise the Lord. Hallelujah!

Thank you Majors Brendan and Sandra Nottle for your leadership.

Luke 19:36 (NIV)
36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.