Thursday, 31 May 2007

Youth Worship Meeting

At Box Hill, the 6 p.m. Sunday meeting is a youth worship meeting. In all likelihood, they have a name for it and I just don't know what it is. We did go there, though on Pentecost Sunday and had a blast. The music was very good (a new generation) and the fellowship in the worship was exciting. Good crowd too.

We learned more about Pentecost and its place in the pre-church, the beginning of Church and the church today. I'm always looking for a mighty, earth shaking movement of the Holy Spirit. I wouldn't mind even more evidence of the presence of God. There was plenty of evidence in that meeting as we were blessed.

Can we earnestly and openly seek the grace of God in large measure? He desires to fill us and keep us fully connected to Him.

Acts 2:1 (NIV)
1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place.

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Box Hill Korean Congregation

We were graciously received at the Box Hill Korean Congregation this past Sunday morning. Captains Hwang and Kim received us graciously and provided translators for us. They really did a good job.

The music was great and so was the preaching. This is a beautiful place for those who speak Korean to worship the Lord. Carolyn and I, both, sensed the Spirit of God in all that took place. Hallelujah!

Acts 2:44 (NIV)
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.

Monday, 28 May 2007

The Proms

Now this is a wild idea. Plan a night of nationalistic flash, invite enough people that it takes two separate meetings and charge $10.00 per person. There was Irish dancing, Scottish bag pipes and a massed band, first in formal attire and then in athletic wear. Tell some jokes and let the crowd sing along once in a while. Decorate the house with the Union Jack and pass out a bunch for people to wave indiscriminately. And you thought Waverley Temple was notoriously traditional.

A lot of people were comfortable in the house that day, including us. They seemed like such normal and fun people there. I wouldn't be surprised if some people came back to see how they worship God. They get a high rating for a creative event that drew many different people inside where they found friendly people in the name of Christ. Not bad at all.

Luke 15:24 (NLT)
24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.' So the party began.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Pentecost Sunday

Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Prayer Drive

The Northern Victoria Division organised a Prayer Drive today. Their advertisement read, " Support rural Victoria with a country drive, meet with other Christians to pray for rain and families affected by drought, spend some money in a rural town and support the local economy by buying coffee and food along the way." So we did.

We visited Marong, Charlton, Donald, and St. Arnaud. A prayer CD was provided to focus on the Lord on the drive and in each location, we met for prayer, received a brochure for a prayer plan, and walked the streets in prayer. Since we came from Melbourne, we actually drove over 600 kilometers in the process. Many of the people we spoke with were grateful for the support.

This was a blessed idea that drove home our hope in prayer and confidence in God.

Mark 9:1 (MSG)
1 Then he drove it home by saying, "This isn't pie in the sky by and by. Some of you who are standing here are going to see it happen, see the kingdom of God arrive in full force."

Friday, 25 May 2007

It takes all kinds...

Our Army is loaded will all kinds of people. We need every one of them. We need you. There is a place for all who love the Lord and desire to serve Him and there is a place for those who don't. The Kingdom of God is open. Hallelujah!

Now we need to be open as well. We need to be open to all people, whether they like us or not. They can even say some pretty rough things or treat us poorly. We still need to be open.

We need to be open to to His love and to His to his commands and open to His to His people.

The sign on the door of our heart needs to be "open."

Revelation 3:8 (CEV)
8 I know everything you have done. And I have placed before you an open door that no one can close. You were not very strong, but you obeyed my message and did not deny that you are my followers.

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Getting it right

So you're working on a project of any sort. Hang in there until you get it right. Sometimes it's painful to keep working on the project and you want to just move on to another project, or even, one that is more interesting. Don't give up.

Knots generally require patience and effort. Is it too easy to say they don't untie themselves? The value of a right solution over a solution is significant and worth the extra effort. Some projects take a long time. Others require the help of other people.

Getting it right has to do with integrity, a valuable quality and a dependable asset to our lives. Jesus did it right, painful and horrible as it was. We can be glad He did.

Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Commissioned for life

Service in the ministry of God is a delight of life. God enables us to experience the fullness of his love in this way. Our duties in His name facilitate a joy beyond the wildest imagination of those who don't know Him. In this way we celebrate life as it was intended. Hallelujah!

The magnitude of service is not the point. Even the most menial job in the authentic name of Christ will bring satisfaction before Him. Our role in the body of Christ is measured by the grace of God. He's the same who instills the fulfillment. Ready...Set...Go!

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Tuesday, 22 May 2007


Prayer is a great place to live. I wish we could simply appoint people to pray. It would be the most important appointment of every soldier and the most delightful. Even when we're praying through difficulties, there is the presence of God. There is the life-giving flow of love to the extreme. Hallelujah!

Come with me on a journey of prayer and dependence upon God, whose capacity is unlimited and whose concern is unconditional. He desires to be the focus of our hearts so that we would be fulfilled in glorifying Him. Yes!

Let us pray.

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.

Monday, 21 May 2007


"Where there is no vision, the people perish:" Feel like you're fading? Things in your life going the wrong way? Are you having difficulty seeing the obvious? These are questions that people have when there is diminished vision. You know I'm not speaking about eyesight, but about a perspective on what's coming and what needs to be.

First, take a look in the Word of God, then speak with Him and listen to Him. His purposes for you need not be a mystery. There can be clarity...and focus...and direction. The Master said, "I am the way, the truth and the life..." Can you see? We learn that, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." This makes for the real thing...a relationship that brings life. The vision, then, is in Christ. Hallelujah!

Philippians 4:19 (NIV)
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

RSA Door Knock Campaign

Many doors in Australia are meeting Salvos and responding with generosity. I find it quite extraordinary that so many people trust us. There may or may not be an experience with the Salvos in their history. There is simply a faith in who we are and what we do. Hallelujah...and thank you. We will make every effort to put your donation and confidence to best use in the name of God.

Our confidence in God is what drives us to what we do and is what enables us to attempt to reach the heights and depths of service. Without the love and provision of God, our service would fall short of our hopes and expectations. So our faith in God and His attention to our efforts makes success out of what we are and do. Hallelujah!

John 14:1 (NIV)
1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." (Jesus)

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Every soldier needed

I am here to announce that every soldier in The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory has the opportunity to witness boldly to the saving grace of the Son of God. Are you waiting for orders to do something? Here are your orders: Be holy...and do something! Waiting for permission? You have the permission you need to start something that would honour God. If it works to His glory, we'll make it official and call it The Salvation Army.

Can we understand that God's hope for us is unlimited. Much of the limitation is in our minds and ultimately our feet...which become frozen for fear of failure and any number of excuses. Trust God and give it a go. Don't hold back now when God needs you so critically. Hallelujah!

Isaiah 43:19 (MSG)
19 Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new. It's bursting out! Don't you see it? There it is! I'm making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands.

Friday, 18 May 2007


The docklands of Melbourne is an interesting place to visit. There are restaurants galore and a few shops. Plenty of people have condos and flats in the area. Having been there before, we went that way tonight for a good experience with friends.

It's in these moments and in these places where the world seems detached from the pressures of life that I wonder how it is that we can reach these for Christ. They are consumed with the sweet life and are enjoying it fully. How do we get through in these environments to tell them of Jesus?

Acts 21:5 (MSG)
5 When our time was up, they escorted us out of the city to the docks. Everyone came along—men, women, children. They made a farewell party of the occasion! We all kneeled together on the beach and prayed.

Thursday, 17 May 2007


"Thou shalt call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from heir sins." This is what the angel said to Joseph in expectation of the birth of Jesus to Mary. The word 'save' in this text can also be rendered, 'healed.'

Don't we need healing today? Many are sick in their life's journey and in need of wholeness. Jesus is still available for such healing in our lives. Look to Him for His grace and salvation. Hallelujah!

Matthew 1:21 (MSG)
21 She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus—'God saves'—because he will save his people from their sins."

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

MSS Twenty

Twenty years ago some very good people had a very good idea and put together some very good musicians to form the Melbourne Staff Songsters. We celebrated this moment with them and many of those who have belonged over the years. They even let Carolyn and me sing with them through the open rehearsal. They didn't invite us to come back next week for their regular rehearsal.

For twenty years they have been producing and presenting music in terms that God would value and people would be inspired. Their greatest moments would have included every opportunity they had to draw people to Christ. Whether they were drawn closer as members, concert goers, Salvos or not, the facilitation of a persons deepening relationship with Christ has been advanced. Hallelujah!

We were proud to sing with them and we are proud of them. God is too.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
17 The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Concertina Music

We were a part of a special presentation this week at THQ when the family of Lt. Commissioner John Blake donated his concertina and case to our museum. Blake was a war hero and chaplain in the Australian Army in World War II. His service in the military was a credit to his faith as was his commensurate service as a Salvation Army officer.

He traveled well with his concertina with which he praised the Lord at a moment's notice to the delight of his company of friends. On this day we sang to the music of three concertina musicians and it was heart warming. Stop by the museum on Bourke Street and check out the exhibit.

Psalms 95:1 (NIV)
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Monday, 14 May 2007

Companion Clubs

There is much to be learned and experienced in the Companion Clubs. Carolyn and I were at an Eastern Victoria meeting of the Companion Club leaders in the division today. Each of them are engaging and fully committed to their mission. The Companion Clubs are programmes for those over fifty years of age. That includes me.

For those reaching retirement ages, know that you are still essential in the Army of today. Your gifts, abilities and availability are all incredibly important to us as we move forward to win the world for Christ. Thank you for your faithfulness to this day and for your faithfulness going forward. Hallelujah!

Philippians 1:25 (MSG)
25 So I plan to be around awhile, companion to you as your growth and joy in this life of trusting God continues.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Mothers' Day in Warragul, Victoria

By now you can tell we journeyed a little east in the Eastern Victoria Division to get to the Warragul Corps. As the photo reveals, there was a little fog in the neighborhood, but that all left when the meeting started. It was clear that they came to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness and that they are very grateful to Him for their mothers.

This corps, under the leadership of Captains Kirsten and Warren Elliott, is an exceptional find in a world that needs to find Christ as Lord. When you worship here, you will sense the presence of God and the warmth of His people. Hallelujah!

Proverbs 31:31 (NIV)
31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Adelaide, South Australia

We visited the Towards Independence and Bridge Programmes this week. They have an array of services that are professional and personal. People are being supported and helped in the process of meeting our staff and being exposed to the hope of God. He is at work through these programmes and is sending His children there to learn of His compassion through regular people with extraordinary capacity for hope.

The work we do is very much "life and death." With this understanding, we cannot miss the opportunities to convey God's love in such convincing ways. Hallelujah!

2 Timothy 4:2 (MSG)
2 so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don't ever quit. Just keep it simple.

Friday, 11 May 2007


The American Chamber of Commerce of Australia had a meeting today in Adelaide. Prof. Graham Hubbard, author of the book "The First XI - Winning Organisations in Australia", Mr. Les Wozniczka, CEO of Futuris and I were on a business panel discussion led by Mr. Rob Kelvin of Channel 9 TV in Adelaide.

There was a high regard for the Salvos in the room. They have seen the ministry of TSA through the years and they value what they have seen. What they have really valued is the light of God through His children. The value of what we are known for is the grace of God. The honour is His.

Revelation 7:12 (CEV)
12 and said, "Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen!"

Thursday, 10 May 2007

ANZ Bank

We met today with some retired officers of the ANZ Bank. They are a warm and friendly group of people with their employment in ANZ Bank as their major point of commonality. They actually have much more in common. Many of them worked there for over 40 years. That speaks of dedication, personal satisfaction, expertise, consistency and more. This speaks highly of ANZ Bank.

Another matter they have in common is respect and support for the Salvation Army. This part is a natural blessing for me. They received us well and have been generous to help with our Red Shield Appeal. Thank you friends for your support and encouragement. God bless you.

Acts 2:44 (NIV)
44 All the believers were together and had everything in common.

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

ABC Radio

The extraordinary media personality, John Cleary, gave us a few moments of great respect today in the recording of a radio interview for national radio. It will be aired Sunday night at 11 PM. He is gracious, brilliant and compelling. No wonder he is highly respected and in demand. He's a good Salvo.

I believe there is room for us on the air waves. Be it television or radio, we have the best message in the world to communicate to the most people before the return of Christ. We do have some programs on the air at the moment. Should we be more prominent? Help us Lord to see the way to go in this.

Mark 16:15 (NIV)
15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Growing Healthy Corps

Carolyn spoke tonight about spiritual leadership in TSA. If I must say so myself, she did a great job. The audience was a Super Cluster of corps and divisional leaders in the territory. They've been meeting under the consultancy of Dr. Paul Borden.

God is indeed doing a great thing among these corps and their leaders. You could sense their eagerness and earnestness in the room. Tomorrow we meet with them again where I will have an opportunity to present the Word of God to them. I'm counting on Him and I'm counting on them.

1 John 4:7 (NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.

Monday, 7 May 2007

Red Shield Appeal

Tomorrow we launch the annual Red Shield Appeal with the hope that we will attract enough attention for the community to understand that "We're all in this together." I wish I could report that the needs of people have decreased and that TSA is needed less than ever before. It is true for many we have helped through the year. Their needs have decreased, but the reality remains that even more people have critical basic needs.

In the name of God we intend to press on to serve Him by serving people. Not unlike the love of God, we hope to help people unconditionally and uncompromisingly. We do so in His strength and by the resources He provides from the hearts of many people. We're trusting that Australians of all walks of life will join us in this cause. "We're all in this together," and together we will make a huge difference in the lives of Australians.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (MSG)
11 So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you'll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you're already doing this; just keep on doing it.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Soup, Soap and Salvation in the 21st Century

This is the well chosen theme of the Social Programme Conference being held at the Geelong Conference Centre. We enjoyed meeting with the delegates tonight for the Keynote Meeting. The cast of presenters for the conference is quite impressive as are their subjects. I'm praying that each one gives their best for the advancement of our good work.

The delegates include many of the leaders of our social programmes and represent a formidable force for good in the world. We can't get it all done without them. They work hard and efficiently. They are all Salvos whether they attend a corps on Sunday or not.

The leader is one Major Dr. Graeme Rigley. He's the Territorial Social Programme Secretary and he's great. We are fortunate to have him in the job.

Matthew 25:40 (MSG)
40 Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Cinco de Mayo

In English, 5th of May. Cinco de Mayo is a national, but not federal, holiday in Mexico. It commemorates the victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin over the French occupational forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Although the Mexican army was eventually defeated, the "Batalla de Puebla" came to represent a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism. With this victory, Mexico demonstrated to the world that they were willing to defend themselves against any foreign intervention, especially those from imperialist states bent on world conquest.

In these terms, we should join our brothers and sisters in their celebration. Freedom is a precious reality, generally best understood when it doesn't exist. God's plan is for all to be free, no matter what oppression is attempting to control us. Look to Him today for this miracle.

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

Friday, 4 May 2007

Alice in Wonderland

Cheers to Salvos Stephanie Walden, Ben Waterworth and Jake Waterworth for their stunning performances in the East Doncaster Secondary College production of Alice in Wonderland. We were among the grateful audience who attended and enjoyed every minute of it.

One of my favourite moments in the story is when the cheshire cat is approached by Alice at a crossroads and she asks for directions because she's lost. The cat responds by asking where she wants to go. Being so disoriented by Wonderland, she says she doesn't know where she wants to go. The cat responds, "then it doesn't matter which way you go."

I know you're seeing the spiritual parallel. Here's the answer...

John 14:6 (TLB)
6 Jesus told him, "I am the Way--yes, and the Truth and the Life. No one can get to the Father except by means of me.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Western Victoria Division

Each year we take time to visit each divisional headquarters for what is known as a divisional review. They're always worthwhile and especially when the preparations have been meticulous and the year under review has been healthy.

That's what we've found here under the leadership of Majors Jenny and Peter Walker. Besides being holy and engaging people themselves, the division reveals the provision and blessings of God. The officers, employees, volunteers, soldiers and adherents of this division have done well. God's work is in good hands. Hallelujah!

1 Samuel 12:7 (MSG)
7 Take your stand before him now as I review your case before God in the light of all the righteous ways in which God has worked with you and your ancestors.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Body of Christ

When we read 'where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them,' we know that Jesus is giving a promise to be present. Often the quote is used when there is a small crowd and it renews our confidence in the presence of Jesus. This is good.

I'm beginning to see it more than a promise to a small crowd. I'm seeing it as a hope of Jesus that we might get together more His name.

What's more, I'm also seeing it as not limited to individuals, but appropriate for organisations, denominations...partnerships. Again...a hope of Jesus for us to connect in His name. Hallelujah!

John 17:21 (NIV)
21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Building the Kingdom

So we're convinced that God wants us to build His Kingdom. How does this happen? Oh sure, one person at a time...relationships. If our witness is strong enough, they will get it without us even trying...think so? People don't really come to the Lord by our holy countenance. It actually takes some effort on our part.

We don't do the saving, but we are instrumental in leading others to God's love...and it doesn't happen by accident or mere contact. God does the saving through our concerted efforts to draw people to His love.

Waiting for that family member or that convenience store clerk to find the Lord? It's probably not going to happen if we don't specifically ask them to do so. Often they say something besides yes, but when they do say yes, the party begins in heaven and the fountain of abundant life swells in your soul. Hallelujah!

Acts 26:16 (MSG)
16 But now, up on your feet—I have a job for you. I've handpicked you to be a servant and witness to what's happened today, and to what I am going to show you.