Sunday, 30 September 2007

Darwin Sunday

The day with the Melbourne Staff Songsters started with the holiness meeting at the Darwin Corps. The Palmerston Corps joined in the worship as well. The meeting was moving as the Songsters bring a joy and conviction to every venue at which they sing. I praise God for each of them and for those who knelt at the mercy seat to connect with God.

The afternoon programme was beautifully shared with the African Gospel Singers who ministered to us in lively fashion. Both groups delighted God with their offerings and we were blessed to be in their company.

Luke 6:45 (NIV)
45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Saturday, 29 September 2007


Besides the Grand Finals of Footy, the Staff Songsters arrived in Darwin this afternoon and promptly engaged in a vocal clinic for the high school choir. This, of course is a great idea and led to their joint performance tonight at the Christ Church in Darwin. Salvationists from the area came as did many people from the neighborhood.

The weather was hot and humid. It took its toll on a couple of Songsters, but the group stood the test of a long week and tough conditions. They make us all proud. Thanks to Majors Ritchie and Gail Watson for their leadership and preparations here in the Top End.

2 Corinthians 5:9 (MSG)
9 But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that's what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Alice Springs Day 2

The second day here in Alice with the Melbourne Staff Songsters has been a delight. The morning stated with a small group going to the Australian Police Memorial Service where they sang and we witnessed the dedication of this city towards their police. The larger part of the group did a programme at an aged care facility and were warmly received as well.

Mid-day the Songsters met at the Corps with their Aboriginal choir to practice an item for the evening outdoor programme. All went well. The evening outdoor programme drew over 100 onlookers and was a great opportunity to sing to the glory of God. Hallelujah!

Your prayers are gratefully received. Off to Darwin tomorrow.

Titus 3:5 (NIV)
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Alice Springs

We arrived in Alice after a day of visiting Uluru again and a long day in the bus. It gives me a chance to indicate what a great group the Melbourne Staff Songsters are. They work hard. They work together. They love the Lord and care about each other. It's all working.

You may want to read the official tour account at the Melbourne Staff Songster tour website. Click on those words to go there from here.

I'm thanking God tonight for each one of them. Their ministry is strong and filled with the Spirit of God.

Psalms 101:1 (NIV)
1 I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007


Uluru, also known as Ayer's Rock was worth the journey. Located close to the centre of the country and 800+ kilometers from Coober Pedy, it rises up out of the centre of the earth to make quite an impressive scene. The Indigenous People see it as sacred ground and many precautions are taken to protect them in their beliefs.

The Melbourne Staff Songsters gathered at the foot of the Rock to see the sun set and it's light changing affect on the Rock itself. They sang 4 songs including Let Your Presence Fall on Me, I Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed on Jesus, and a Scriptural Benediction that sanctified the moment for us all and for those who were onlookers nearby. God drew us together and sealed the experience in our hearts. Hallelujah!

Matthew 16:16 (NIV)
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Coober Pedy

Now here's a one of a kind town in the world. Coober Pedy is a long way by bus from Port Augusta. We saw wild emus along the Stuart Highway and noted that a certain stretch of the highway was a dedicated emergency landing strip for planes and jets to use when necessary. We did keep our eyes in the skies just to make sure we weren't being confronted by some of Qantas' finest.

Our motel is in the side of the hill as are much of the establishments and dwellings. You would even call it a cave. The rooms get pretty dark day or night when you turn off the lights. The design is quite practical in the heat and dust storms they have here.

The programme too was one of a kind. You'll want to ask the songsters. They sang to God's honour and joy. Hallelujah!

John 20:8 (NIV)
8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Port Augusta

On the way to Port Augusta, the Melbourne Staff Songsters stopped first at Gawler, South Australia for morning tea. As arranged, the corps officer, made sure there were soldiers and volunteers present, because after the tea, the Songsters sang and ministered to them. It was a blessed moment and all were thrilled to be a part of it.

Similarly, the next stop was Kadina for lunch and a fellowship time with soldiers and friends followed by a mini-programme for them in the corps hall. Here too, the Holy Spirit encouraged each of our hearts to His delight.

By evening, we found ourselves giving a full concert in Port Augusta, South Australia. The crowd was healthy and very responsive to the Songsters. In one particular song, the crowd sings with the Songsters. Here, they raised the roof. Hallelujah!

Luke 5:13 (NIV)
13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him.

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Portland and Mt. Gambier

On Sunday, the Melbourne Staff Songsters ministered at the Portland, Victoria in the Western Victoria Division. The morning worship was a beautiful time to remember as the Holman family came forward for prayer with many supporters from the corps.

In the arvo (afternoon)the songsters sang and witnessed at the Mount Gambier Corps where a very good crowd welcomed them to the glory of God. Many folks came from quite a distance to be there. Thanks to Majors Howard and Elaine Trendell for their good work.

As their tour begins to unfold, it is obvious that each one of the Songsters loves the Lord and convey their love throughout their singing. Hallelujah!

Luke 5:4 (NIV)
4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch."

Saturday, 22 September 2007


This is a great corps in Western Victoria under the leadership of Captains Mains. The corps hosted the Melbourne Staff Songsters tonight for a gospel concert. The hall was full and everyone enjoyed the programme immensely. This was the first night of the MSB tour of South Australia and the Northern Territory. In each programme, the gospel will be presented and we will see what the Holy Spirit wants to do with it all. We're expecting great things.

Please bring the group, its leadership and those who will attend the programmes before the Lord. As we pray together, I believe God will anoint the efforts to His glory. Thanks for praying even now.

2 Thessalonians 3:1 (NIV)
1 Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Keeping the Faith

Some early Booth quotes would speak to getting saved and keeping saved. In the same context, keeping the faith relates to where we hold on and not let go. It means trusting Jesus what e'er befall...It is far from meaning keeping ones faith to oneself.

So look at the challenges of the day as opportunities to witness in your faith. Discouragement and distraction are tools of the enemy. We have much to remember about God's faithfulness. He has not deserted us. He champions our faith and welcomes the strength of our witness in the journey. Hallelujah! Pleasing God alone can swell our soul with delight. Yes. Let's keep the faith!

Luke 8:15 (MSG)
15 "But the seed in the good earth—these are the good-hearts who seize the Word and hold on no matter what, sticking with it until there's a harvest.

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Parker Place

The Western Victoria Division dedicated Parker Place today. As a part of the Karinya Social Programme in Ballarat, these eight housing units will be used for homeless women and their families. They are great and will signal an appropriate sense of dignity to those who will use them going forward. This is great.

There are more than 100,000 homeless people in Australia with 30,000 in the state of Victoria. Of these, 5,000 are between the ages of 12-18. This is something we have to do something about and they are in Ballarat. Congratulations to Majors Walker, the Divisional Leaders and Captain Sharon Bywaters, the programme leader.

Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

New Candidates

I learned today of two new candidates for officership. They hope to enter the Training College in the next session. God has spoken to their hearts and they are committed to following Him. Hallelujah!

We are also seeing God move amongst Lieutenants. I've learned of more today who are seeing God's way through to officership. This is a blessing.

Candidates" Board met today to consider the suitability of a good candidate for officership.

Add all of this to the new soldiers that have been enroled lately and you'll begin to witness the work of God. Thank you, Lord for these encouraging people who also witness to our hearts.

Psalms 64:9 (AMP)
9 And all men shall [reverently] fear and be in awe; and they will declare the work of God, for they will wisely consider and acknowledge that it is His doing.

Quality Control

So who could be against quality? I suppose the question might be at what expense? The word itself is very much a relative concept. A quality product to some, often is not to others.

What about a quality life? While it would be easy to write that a life is lacking quality without Christ, there are countless people who have contributed to our society who were not followers of Christ. It speaks of our values and why we are here. We are here, undoubtedly to honour God. When we do so, our life takes on a quality that exceeds personal accomplishments. That quality of life never diminishes the value of another life.

Let the quality of our life in Christ be what draws other people to Him.

Daniel 10:11 (MSG)
11 " 'Daniel,' he said, 'man of quality, listen carefully to my message. And get up on your feet. Stand at attention. I've been sent to bring you news.'"

Monday, 17 September 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

It's an interesting phrase.

How about this old one? The stranger to NY asks "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" The New Yorker answers, "practice, practice, practice."

Why is it that a Doctor practices medicine and a lawyer practices law. When do they do it for real?

However we understand it, we need to practice our faith in the crucible of our daily journey. It needs to be our every moments intention, until it becomes in the image of God. Sounds perfect, doesn't it?

1 John 3:18 (MSG)
18 My dear children, let's not just talk about love; let's practice real love.

Sunday, 16 September 2007


Six new Senior Soldiers were enroled tonight to the glory of God. It was clear they are under the banner, saved2serve. The hall was filled with supporters as Andy, Naomi, Kathryn, Kirsten, Rachel and Ryan signed their Articles of War. Each one also had another sponsor/supporter present to pray with them and stand by them at the service.

We need more Soldiers and with these in mind, God is sending His best. Hallelujah!

We spent some time looking at the word of God where He makes it clear that we are saved to serve. The serving part includes leading others to Christ. Let us each be diligent in our efforts to do so.

Matthew 25:40 (NIV)
40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

Saturday, 15 September 2007


On the invitation to our wedding, we used a word that probably still isn't one. We invited people to be there to share in the moment that would formally initiate our "togethering in Christ." It might have been a seventies kind of thing on our mind, but it has indeed become a descriptor of our journey.

Carolyn's return from Sunbury Court reminds me that I'm at my best when we are togethering in Christ. The kilometers aren't really negatively significant to our relationship. We are in unison, serving Christ. It's a concept that is also the prayer of our Lord: "that we might be one." I like this part of the answer to His prayer. Hallelujah!

John 13:34 (NIV)
34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Friday, 14 September 2007


Would you keep reading if I promised to tell you about your calling? This is a matter that many believers struggle with. We look to God for where we ought to be and what we ought to be doing. Along with your calling, I know God's will for your life. It actually has less to do with the where and what as it does with the who.

Hear God: 1 Thessalonians 4:3 (NIV)
3 It is God's will that you should be sanctified:

And more: 1 Thessalonians 4:7 (NIV)
7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.

There it is. God's calling and His will for you and me, all in the same chapter in the Bible. Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 (NIV)
1 Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.
2 For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Anniversary Day

Although not our wedding anniversary, today was an anniversary of sorts. I met with a few friends for the best part of the day to celebrate the presence of God in our lives and in the territory. The whole experience was refreshing.

You might want to take a minute with a few friends to consider where you were at this time last year and what God has done in your life. It's not the type of thing you would do every day of your life, but once in a while, it will undoubtedly reveal the provision of God and faith rewarded. Hallelujah!

He is Lord and is worthy of all our praise.

Jeremiah 5:24 (MSG)
24 It never occurs to them to say, 'How can we honor our God with our lives, The God who gives rain in both spring and autumn and maintains the rhythm of the seasons, Who sets aside time each year for harvest and keeps everything running smoothly for us?'

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Measuring Success

Godly success is measured by faithfulness. There aren't enough computers in the world to calculate the significance and success in serving God. How do you become successful? Start by trusting God. Continue by living for Him every day. Claim the sanctified experience. Make it even more purposeful by celebrating radical obscurity. Your life will be dripping with faithfulness...and authentic success.

Now you know I'm not given to formulaic spirituality. The point is faithfulness. Now look at how it really works...(in the scripture here) Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 5:24 (NIV)
24 The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Really Good People

I'm in the process of meeting really good Salvationists this week. We have an amazing array of committed people who love the Lord and want to serve Him completely. He is assembling a company of the committed in His service to draw many to His love.

My heart is overwhelmed by the depth of our people and the joys expressed in the day to day battles through which He has made them winners. Hallelujah!

Thank you, Lord for the faithful, the righteous, and the diligent. With them in your strength, we can win the world for Jesus.

Proverbs 18:10 (MSG)
10 God's name is a place of protection— good people can run there and be safe.

Monday, 10 September 2007

God at Work

Sometimes we wonder where God is. We seemed to have survived the whole "God is dead" thing, although I did hear children sing recently, "God's not dead. No! He is alive." So where or when do you see God at work?

He is at work at every meal you enjoy and for every night you sleep in safe haven. Don't miss Him by the curse of the familiar.

I happen to be rejoicing today for the way He is at work in people. I'm enjoying seeing Him alive and well in the souls of people who love Him and who serve Him with their whole life. Hallelujah!

Can people say that about you?

1 Thessalonians 2:13 (MSG)
13 And now we look back on all this and thank God, an artesian well of thanks! When you got the Message of God we preached, you didn't pass it off as just one more human opinion, but you took it to heart as God's true word to you, which it is, God himself at work in you believers!

Sunday, 9 September 2007


At the corps today, we celebrated the contribution of the Primary kids to our lives. They sang and danced and recited lines. They were great. All of the kids are. The parents were proud. The grands were thrilled and the rest of us just swelled with joy to witness the promise of God in each of these children. Hallelujah!

Can we hold them in the grace of God? We must do everything we can to do so. It is a battle that we cannot take lightly. I expect that each one of these parents will fight for their child's life. Sometimes we just don't know how to do it and sometimes our own distractions turn into the calamities of the children. God help us.

Matthew 18:5 (Phillips NT)
5 "Anyone who welcomes one child like this for my sake is welcoming me. But if anyone leads astray one of these little children who believe in me he would be better off thrown into the depths of the sea with a mill-stone hung round his neck! Alas for the world with its pitfalls! In the nature of things there must be pitfalls. yet alas for the man who is responsible for them!

Saturday, 8 September 2007

What do you say to God?

Now this might seem to be a trick question. What do you say to God? You might ask what are the circumstances or what is the context?

I submit to you, the answer to God is "Yes." Whatever He says to you, the yes is an indication of our total devotion to Him and our intention to serve Him without equivocation.

Up to it? The answer to that one is no, apart from the grace of God.

It doesn't need to be complex when we understand that He is one else. Hallelujah!

Revelation 22:21 (MSG)
21 The grace of the Master Jesus be with all of you. Oh, Yes!

Friday, 7 September 2007


The joy is in the journey. More than the destination, the journey needs to be filled with grace, holy expectation and integrity. It's in the journey that we will see the daily grace of God in our lives and in others'. Watch for it. Experience it. Know it.

On this basis, it doesn't matter where you are on the journey. Being joined with Jesus will bring to your life the fullness and hope that God designed us for. There's no reason to await the destinations in life as your only satisfaction. Enjoy the traveling in Christ.

1 Peter 1:17 (MSG)
17 You call out to God for help and he helps—he's a good Father that way. But don't forget, he's also a responsible Father, and won't let you get by with sloppy living. Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.

Thursday, 6 September 2007


From time to time we feel like we're working with champions. We have some of the best officers in the world in the Australian Southern Territory and we are so grateful to God for them. Carolyn and I met with a few of these officers today for a casual meeting. My heart rejoices for their faithfulness, hopefulness and earnestness. Hallelujah!

Don't worry about who they are. Give thought to being all you can be for God. That's they key to their success. That's what shines through them like a brilliant beam from heaven. There are, in fact many like these today who serve out of love and in so doing, serve like champions. Thank you.

1 Peter 5:4 (AMP)
4 And [then] when the Chief Shepherd is revealed, you will win the conqueror’s crown of glory.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Philip Yancey

The celebrated author was in Melbourne today. He spoke at a good event sponsored by the Evangelical Alliance. There were about 200 there and estimating by the response, everyone was blessed by Mr. Yancey's message. I'll resist the temptation to restate his points, but rather, celebrate his faithfulness as well as his latest book. You can acquire a copy of the DVD of his message from Evangelical Alliance.

I've never read one of his books I didn't like. This one's entitled, "Prayer: Does It Make a Difference? I have yet to read it, but am blessed that he has chosen this subject. In the book he asks, "Why is it that prayer ranks so high on surveys of importance and so low on surveys of satisfaction?" This is a great question.

Let's just pray...and God.

1 Peter 2:9 (MSG)
9 But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—

Tuesday, 4 September 2007


It appears we have an obsession about our appearance and our appearances. Passing a mirror? Did you check yourself out? How about the reflection in the store window? Were you able to see yourself clearly? Happy with your appearance?

Appearance not only relates to your look, but also with your location. Are you where you want to be? Now the double whammy...Are you concerned about how you look as it relates to where you are? Do I appear confused?

Made in the image of God, we are designed to be like Jesus. It comes true when it not only is our appearance, it is our reality.

1 Peter 3:3-4 (MSG)
3 What matters is not your outer appearance—the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes—
4 but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.

Monday, 3 September 2007


We are all recruiters. It's God's plan. We each have the joy of sharing the love of God in such a way as to attract others to His love. It's a form of recruitment.

In much the same way, we need to begin to understand that we are all recruiters for local officers and commissioned officers as well. Who doesn't want a great person in these roles? So is this solely the responsibility of the Corps Officers or the Candidates' Secretary? Hardly. It's one of the problems we have when we ask someone to be specifically interested in a certain responsibility in the church. We begin to think that the job belongs to someone else.

Experience the joy of recruiting for God. You might need to look into the mirror.

1 John 2:24 (Phillips NT)
24 For yourselves I beg you to stick to the original teaching. If you do, you will be living in fellowship with both the Father and the Son. And that means sharing his own life for ever, as he has promised.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Major Maureen Hamilton

Major Maureen Hamilton was Promoted to Glory this morning at 2:15 a.m.. In the company of her medically trained nephew, she left this world for the next by the promise and provision of Christ Jesus. Stationed at the Geelong Corps with her husband Stuart, she was a member of the God's Soldiers Session of training. She has been a faithful servant of God and a wonderful wife and mother. Maureen will be missed, but will always be remembered.

We can all rejoice in God's plan for Maureen. Hallelujah!

We need to remain in prayer for Maureen's family and close friends. Thank you for joining with us in this regard.

Matthew 25:23 (NKJV)
23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Auction action

The house across the street was auctioned for sale this afternoon. It was an intriguing sight. At first it resembled an open-air. There was a man shouting with an open-air voice. His associates were handing out pamphlets and the crowd was scattered all over the side walks on both sides of the street as well as in the street.

At the conclusion, it occurred to me that the joy of the experience was limited to three parties present: the seller, the buyer, and the auctioneer.

How different is an open-air. The good news pronounced at the open-air is for all to experience the joy of Jesus, and at no cost to anyone in the ring. The person who accepts the Lord as Saviour is welcomed into the kingdom of God and owner of a "mansion, just over the hilltop." Hallelujah!

John 14:2 (NKJV)
2 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.