Friday, 31 August 2007

Salvo Stores

Mr. Allen Dewhirst is the CEO of our Salvo Stores. Their work is essential to our mission and missional as well. Their team works hard and is strategically focused. I'm grateful to God for them.

The Stores would be advantaged by more volunteers from our corps. Do you have some time you can offer for the good of the cause? There are quite a few well serving volunteers as we speak, but there is no question, more would support the cause. Why not take the love of God into these environments where your witness will be valuable?

In ten of our stores in Victoria, we have Christian Resource Corners. This is where a person can purchase new books, cd's and such. I would love to offer Australians the opportunity to always find a good Christian resource at any Salvo Store. Why not check it out? If your store doesn't have this yet, ask them to do it.

Matthew 19:21 (NIV)
21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is a serious issue around the world. In Australia 2 million people live below the poverty line. Many of them are homeless. TSA continues to offer support services to this population on a 24/7 basis in many different forms. Our array of services includes, but goes way beyond government funded resources, because their needs goes beyond the imagination and the limits of the funding parties.

We do this willingly. You see, people need a reasonable and safe place to live. After that, many have need of other support services to assure their permanence in their housing. Then, in the process, we have the joy of demonstrating the love of God and His provision for us all. We have great people in this service and we know the greatness of God.

Psalms 135:5 (MSG)
5 I too give witness to the greatness of God, our Lord, high above all other gods.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Mission Development

With our mission clear in our minds, we can go forward to sort out how exactly the mission might shape up as we go along. With culture moving at a rapid pace as well as our personal lives, it requires a continual refocusing of our mission and mission alignment. Without intentional efforts on our part, we become stale and ineffective in due course.

We can do some of this at THQ, but I believe it to be an active role for every level of service and in most locations. Who does it where you are? Is someone doing it? Take a look around you. Are we keeping up with the active interests and needs of the people God wants us to serve? We need to.

Isaiah 48:15 (NIV)
15 I, even I, have spoken; yes, I have called him. I will bring him, and he will succeed in his mission.

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

The Bridge

The Bridge Programme is a valuable asset of the Melbourne Central Division as well as the Territory. It is a sophisticated drug and alcohol programme that serves the entire state of Victoria. Carolyn and I visited two of their sites yesterday and were very impressed with the team that makes it happen and the programmes themselves. Thank you Majors Coleman and your crew.

The men and women who access this programme are fortunate individuals. Based upon what we discovered, their hope for recovery is high. The careful integration of spiritual support assures these same people that healing for their eternity is at heart. We need to pray for these clients and the staff who work with them. Pray that God has His way with them.

James 5:20 (NIV)
20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Future Brass

Wow! The music was fantastic and the kids were great. The Melbourne Staff Band hosted young people from across the Territory as well as a few from the Eastern Territory for a weekend of music training, music making and music enjoying. We witnessed the culmination of their efforts on Sunday afternoon at the South Barwon Corps. All of us were lifted towards heaven as a result of being there.

The Staff Band was superb and the two Future Brass groups were terrific too. The choice of music was inspirational and thrilling. I see this experience as critically important for the future of brass and the future of these brass musicians. Everyone came out a winner.

Thanks to B/M Ken Waterworth and his team for a job well done. God is glorified in you.

Psalms 33:3 (NIV)
3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

South Barwon

This territory is blessed with many great corps. We attended the South Barwon corps, actually located in Belmont, Victoria. The morning worship meeting was full of fellowship, joy and the presence of the Holy Spirit. From the moment we arrived we were welcomed and included.

Thanks to the entire corps and especially to Majors Gloria and David Eldridge. The friendliness of the meeting captured us immediately. The message, "David and God and Goliath" was compelling and challenging. Hallelujah!

Coming to the neighborhood? Stop in. It will be worth it.

1 Samuel 17:37 (NIV)
37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Be Free

The Melbourne Staff Songsters presented the gospel tonight in convincing ways at the Waverley Temple Corps. Their music, testimonies and message gave us all a great night in the presence of God. Songster Leader Brian Hogg and Executive Officer, Major Laurie Robertson are giving the group excellent leadership.

In a few weeks, the Songsters will be beginning a concert tour with the theme, "Be Free," from the bottom of Australia to the top, starting at Warnambool and concluding with Darwin. They'll be on the bus a while in between concert stops as well as a few corps visits along the way. Please be in prayer for them. Carolyn and I will be joining them for the campaign.

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

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Small Groups

We met in a small group the other night where the Spirit was present and we were each encouraged in our faith. I join many who aren't given to group therapy, but the leader of this group kept us clear from feeling that way. I was really glad.

We just plain had a good time. We made it cross generational and still felt as if we were valued simply for being ourselves. It was very comfortable. They had snacks too. Now that never hurts. I learned about and witnessed a "Tim Tam Slammer." It involves biscuits and coffee. I can't wait to try one.

Why not try a small group? You'd be amazed what you might learn and how your life might be advanced. Hallelujah!

Mark 6:39 (NIV)
39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Training College Spiritual Day

On a regular basis, Carolyn and I conduct Spiritual Days at the Training College. Today was one of those special days. She spoke on the destruction of the walls of Jericho and conveyed a picture of the event like many of us have never seen before. Amazing.

The Cadets are a joy to be with as are the Training College Staff. All were in concert today, celebrating the presence of our risen Lord in song, witness, praise and prayer. Hallelujah!

Is this a place for you?

1 Peter 1:15 (NIV)
15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do;

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Bringing People to Christ

What a joy it is to hear that people are coming to the Lord. My heart swells when I learn of such happenings in the territory (and elsewhere too). Certainly, "the angels in heaven rejoice" when this takes place as well.

This is the heart of our mission. We are, and must be, The SALVATION Army. Our focus needs to be aimed at sharing the love of God in Christ to those who don't know Him and to those who do. God desires that everyone be brought to salvation and that we do our part in the process.

You know that we actually need to communicate God's love in ways that they have a choice. Being nice is a start, but only that. There comes a point at which you need to commit to the message and ask the question. Not all gifted evangelists? We are being gifted with powerful love to be shared. Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 13:14 (NIV)
14 May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.

Monday, 20 August 2007

20yO Development Conference

Ah, the twenty year officers. What an interesting mob. We met together today to celebrate their faithfulness to God and clearly His faithfulness to them. Since their commissioning some, not present, have been unable to come this far in the journey. Some for reasons of their own choosing and others for causes that may be described as being victimised or beyond their control.

These, however, are the ones who having faced the battle, are still standing. Each with their wounds, none of which fatal and each with their victories. Can you hear them shout? Christ is Lord! He is the King of Kings and friend of the lowest in our land. I can hear them in a deafening echo that resounds over two decades of life lived in holy purpose and love. Hallelujah!

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.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Tri-Territorial Theological Forum

The 3T Theological Forum met this past week in Melbourne and launched their second journal entitled Windows of Opportunity - Exploring our Foundations: Sacrifice, Salvation, Discipleship. The articles are all good and useful to the thinking Salvationist. We need this kind of open dialogue by students of the Word and of the ministry.

At the launch, we were stimulated by Captain Grattan-Jon Savage who spoke on "Holiness Then and Now: Salvation Army Ecclesiology" and Captain Grant Sandercock-Brown who presented, "Is Social Justice the New Morality?" It's possible that these may find their way into the third journal. I'm given to understand that the journals are available on the web somewhere. Perhaps someone will be kind enough to comment where.

Thank you, Forum for your excellent work.

2 Timothy 2:15 (MSG)
15 Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Ringwood Men's Breakfast

The Ringwood Corps has a regular Men's Breakfast programme that features guest speakers and a very good breakfast. It was my privilege to participate this morning and share something of my heart on the significant role of men in our world.

Bram Southwell is the leader of the event. He and his capable team assembled a fine group of men, not all of whom attend the corps. It is very well organised and worth attending. The camaraderie in the room was a blessing and the experience valuable. It's an effective model many corps could consider.

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.

Friday, 17 August 2007


Day two of the visit to the Melbourne Central Division gave us a look at their Vision To Action. It includes a plan for mission prioritisation, integration and implementation. It builds on the significant work of over 125 years of ministry in their part of Melbourne and it's a good plan.

You'll note from the comments from yesterday that God is moving in the hearts and ministries of MCD Institutions and Corps. Hallelujah!

Bring it on, your delight, joy and plan.

Philippians 1:6 (MSG)
6 There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

Thursday, 16 August 2007


Yes, MCD stands for the Melbourne Central Division. We're spending two days together to review the extraordinary ministries that are taking place and to spend time with the leadership. Majors Rodney and Jenny Barnard are the capable Divisional Leaders who share the joy of this remarkable opportunity with a team that is strong, hopeful and engaging.

We're seeing evidence of God's good work in plain sight and are being encouraged by their strategies for reaching many more for the Kingdom. Hallelujah! I'm glad to be a Salvo.

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, 15 August 2007


We just might have more addictions than we know. Not all addictions are destructive. Some are just distracting and others have a constructive aspect. Can we be addicted to Bible reading? It sounds a bit severe, but I suppose it's possible.

Mostly, addictions are thought as negative and harmful. At what point can a person be free from an addiction? Some will say that once a person is an alcoholic, they're always an alcoholic. Is it not possible for God to break such a stronghold? I know of many serious Christian counselors who believe that God will end an addiction to alcohol.

Now what about us? Can we muster enough forgiveness (and forgetness)to trust God in these ways? I wonder if our doubts negatively contribute to the insecurity of the former addict. Help us, Lord.

James 5:15 (MSG)
15 Believing-prayer will heal you, and Jesus will put you on your feet. And if you've sinned, you'll be forgiven—healed inside and out.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007


Now here's a subject we're as familiar with as breathing. Sometimes we're accused of not thinking and sometimes people will actually say, without thinking, "What were you thinking?" The thought process is valuable to who we are and who we will become. It is essential in our prayer and practical in our service. Don't you think so?

What are you thinking right now? (Why am I reading this blog?)...or maybe something else? Can I suggest we keep our thoughts positive and bright? There are so many places we can go in our minds to escape our realities and to journey to our fantasies. There are dark places without light that may even accentuate our fears.

Thinking about Jesus and His love will be the best place our mind can go. The outcomes will prove better than you might think. I'll be there too.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Proving the grace of God

Lest we think our best plans are working and making the difference, I would suggest that the prevalence of the grace of God is the answer. He is leading us, helping us, providing for us, caring for us. God is. Hallelujah!

Let's continue to serve Him optimally and recognise the blessing of His grace in what we do. This is in the relationship we have with Him and is His desire and joy. A day doesn't pass without the demonstration of His love for us. Look for Him. See Him. Worship Him. Enjoy the life He gives today.

1 Timothy 1:15 (MSG)
15 Here's a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I'm proof—Public Sinner Number One—

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Swan Hill Sunday

We started the day at the corps with a gathering of the SAMIAC group to reconsider what we had learned the day before. Major John Farquharson led us capably and drew us to pray for our findings and for the events of the day. We returned to the "ten steps" on the Murray River for public worship of God.

The music was bright and engaging as was the testimonies and prayers. We looked to the Word of God from Isaiah 43 and listened to the voice of God among us. It was a beaut.

Altogether, we listened to the voices of the Indigenous People and the voice of God. What we gained, we are still processing and believe that it will be revealed in each of us in the days ahead. Hallelujah!

Isaiah 43:2 (NIV)
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Swan Hill

On the Murray River, you'll find the community of Swan Hill, where the people are friendly and the weather just right. We met there together at the request of the Salvation Army Multicultural and Indigenous Australia Council to consider how we might better connect with Indigenous People. It has been a remarkable day.

Members of the Cabinet and the Council met with many Indigenous People on the banks of the Murray River. First we ate at the BBQ, then we actually did sit at the ten steps on the bank of the river. We listened and shared from the heart as God was glorified by such communication. By the end of the evening we were back at the corps hall celebrating and singing in sweet fellowship and harmony. Hallelujah!

This is where we belong.

Colossians 1:22 (NIV)
22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation--

Lt. Colonel Milford McPherson

One of the privileges of the day, Friday, was to attend the memorial service for the life of Lt. Colonel Milford McPherson. It was at the Training College where the room was filled with those who know him and value his influence on their lives. The meeting was led by Lt. Colonel Edwin Hayes who represented all Salvationists with his pastoral support of the family and his deep respect for the Colonel.

Grandson, Tim, gave an inspirational message to us all in the recounting of his grandfather's life and incredible influence in his ministry. Serving in Australia and a few other countries, Lt. Colonel McPherson represented his Lord and Saviour, Jesus, throughout his life to the glory of God. From what I learned, we are fortunate to have known him. Hallelujah!

Revelation 14:12 (MSG)
12 Meanwhile, the saints stand passionately patient, keeping God's commands, staying faithful to Jesus.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Howard & Rudd

I was invited by the Australian Christian Lobby to attend an evening to meet both the Prime Minister John Howard and the opposition candidate Kevin Rudd. The format allowed for four sessions where twenty Christian leaders were in a room with each candidate to meet them personally and ask questions.

The second set of meetings was in a larger group where the candidates each spoke for 45-60 minutes followed by prepared questions from the audience.

Both men were prepared and respectful. Both were personal and engaging. Both of them have a high regard for TSA. It was in all, a good event.

As the choice goes forward for the election of the next Prime Minister, we need to carefully consider what we believe to be God's will for the country. I wouldn't suggest the choice to be easy.

1 Peter 2:17 (MSG)
17 Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Eastern Victoria Division

Thank you, Lord, for a good day. We shared the day with the Eastern Victoria Division whilst doing their annual review. God is at work here in the fine ministry of Majors Ron and Robyn Clinch and their team.

We celebrate growth trends in the division and see God's hand in what is happening. It has required careful visioning, planning and implementation. There's strong evidence of prayer and faithfulness across the board.

Bring it on, Lord!

2 Thessalonians 1:3 (NIV)
3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.

National Brengle Institute

At any reference to Commissioner Samuel Logan Brengle, one begins to think of holiness. His life and writings have taught and inspired many of us on our journey of faith. God raised him up to crystallize our thinking and understanding on this beaut experience for us all.

In the next week to ten days, delegates from all over Australia have joined together for an opportunity to explore the word of God on the subject of the "second blessing" and will draw near to the Lord in holy expectation and openness. It will be a most satisfying experience and one that will reveal God's powerful love in them. Hallelujah!

We met with them last night at the Geelong Conference Centre. I love how God sends the right people at the right time. As you kneel before the Father this week, think of these faithful ones and let's support their blessing.

1 Peter 1:16 (MSG)
16 God said, "I am holy; you be holy."

Monday, 6 August 2007

Music and Gospel Arts

You may have noticed that we are re-instituting the Territorial Music Department with a twist. It will soon exist as the Territorial Music and Gospel Arts Team. You will also know that Captains Mark and Tracey Bearcroft are taking up these appointments and will be leading us in these ways under the auspices of the Corps Programme Department.

What we are attempting to do is to facilitate and stimulate the wonderful gifts that God has given His people in TSA. We have composers, writers, set designers, musicians, instrumentalists, vocalists, conductors, videographers and more who are looking to glorify God in their area of giftedness. These are also an assortment of ways people will be attracted to God's love and grace. It's a winning we're going for it. Hallelujah!

2 Timothy 1:7 (MSG)
7 God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

MCD Youth Meeting

At the Keilor Corps tonight we met with a packed chapel of youth and some leaders to celebrate God's love and presence in our lives. The Keilor Youth Band brought the music and led us in worship capably and in the Spirit of God. Divisional Youth Leaders Major Sandra Maunder and Major Mim Adams organised a great night. Majors Rodney and Jenny Barnard. Divisional Leaders, were there supporting their youth and witnessing to the grace of God in their lives.

These gatherings are powerful and great opportunities for our youth to connect in the presence of God. Their worship is energetic and earnest. With who was in the room, I imagine we could win Melbourne for Christ. Why don't we?

Acts 3:6 (MSG)
6 Peter said, "I don't have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!"

Saturday, 4 August 2007


There is a phenomenon in Australia known as Footy. That is Australian Rules Football...It's here where some would call it "no rules" football. Now deep into our second season of exposure, here in Melbourne, we are beginning to feel the excitement of the sport.

The game itself is nonstop. The play is only minimally influenced by referees and an abundance of rules that slow down and stop the game. In some other sports, the role of the referee is so strong, the figure into the strategy of the game. Then there are the team theme songs that have to be heard to be appreciated.

Living is nonstop and our lives are designed for excitement and energetic engagement. Can we focus that joy collectively and team up to celebrate the source of our hope? It's Jesus. Hallelujah!

Mark 9:15 (MSG)
15 As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Authentic Holiness

Actually, the title of the book is "Authentic Holiness for ordinary Christians". It is written by Majors Geoff and Kalie Webb. They are corps officers at the Ingle Farm Corps in South Australia and are presently awaiting visas for appointments to Pakistan. Prayer on their behalf will be effectual.

The book is a good treatise as the title suggests on the joy of holiness for regular people. It's a good read and well worth the time. You can get it here in Australia and we are working on making it available on even a wider scale. It's recommended on the cover by Dr. Roger Green, Captain Dr. Stephen Court and Major Dr. Alan Harley, a formidable mob, for sure.

It's a book for today.

Hebrews 12:14 (NIV)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

Thursday, 2 August 2007


I believe God calls us to openness when He saves us. We need to be open to Him and others in obedience to Him. If we're keeping secrets from Him, we're kidding ourselves and being inconsistent with a hope to be wholly given to Him.

The matter of transparency comes with trust. When we trust the Lord more, we are more open to Him. This would be known as spiritual growth. Our trust in each other is also marked by a willingness to be transparent. The lack of openness in our journey often translates as deception. There are a few matters in our lives that we ought not bother others with their knowledge. Apart from these, our openness can facilitate a freedom in Christ that has no need of a good memory for fear of getting our stories straight.

Jude 1:21 (MSG)
21 staying right at the center of God's love, keeping your arms open and outstretched, ready for the mercy of our Master, Jesus Christ. This is the unending life, the real life!

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

The Future

While not overlooking today, the future is very interesting. Have you heard a forecast lately? This morning I heard two forecasts before breakfast. First it was the weather. Now there's a job to have. They can almost say what they want and the weather just might come close. I guess they do pretty well. The second was a financial forecast where they said the Aussie dollar was going to continue to do well. He could be right.

Want a forecast that you can rely upon? It's in the Bible. As a matter of fact, it's all through the Bible. God knows what you will be facing tomorrow and into the future. His promises about the future are the most reliable forecasts you'll ever come across...and they're delivered with love.

Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)
11 I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.