Sunday, 30 November 2008

Commissioning '08

The Witnesses for Christ were commissioned today with the excitement of the presence of God. Hallelujah! I'm proud of each one as they go forward to serve the Lord with gladness.

Many prayed at the mercy seat today and many came forward at the call for officership. We are so grateful to God for His extraordinary love and leading.

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, 29 November 2008

On Fire Concert

Great night in Melbourne tonight. Many music groups from across the territory participated. We experienced singers, dancers, timrelists brass, piano, reed instruments all to the glory of God. I believe we may have experienced a first in the territory. An excellent SA Aboriginal singing group participated in this territorial event.

God was honoured repeatedly throughout the evening. We all shared in absorbing the musical treats and appreciating God's gifts in our brothers and sisters. Hallelujah!

Psalm 150:6 (NIV)
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Fellowship of the Silver Star

Those that are members of this fellowship are those whose adult children are commissioned officers in TSA. Also included are some of the mentors of these same officers. The annual meeting to install the new members happens on the commissioning weekend. We enjoyed the opportunity today.

Carolyn was the speaker. She's terrific and blessed us all. Lt. Colonel Aylene Finger is the Territorial Secretary of the Fellowship of the Silver Star. She organised the event beautifully and should be pleased with the result.

Carolyn and I both are members.

2 Peter 1:19 (NIV)
19 And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Community Development

In our mission to serve the Lord, we include the mission imperative to reform society. It's an important aspect of our efforts to serve the Lord in this world. Truly, as God's love is embraced by more and more people, the society will be transformed.

This is often seen as community development. That is, we take a holistic approach in the community that is more comprehensive than one person at a time. We examine the many aspects that make up the community, consider where we can help or contribute to the neighborhood and establish a plan for improvement. I believe it works best when we accentuate community capacity development. That's when we build upon the strengths of the community. It's a good plan.

Genesis 48:4 (NIV)
4 and said to me, 'I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.'

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


Following many examples of Covenant with God in the Bible, we considered the same for the Cadets to be commissioned. Each of these Witnesses for Christ entered into covenant with God, dedicating their lives, ambitions and hopes to Him who loves them.

Their love for God and their hopes to serve Him as officers in The Salvation Army demands this response. I thank God for each one of them and celebrate the place of God in their lives. They're going to be great witnesses. They'll be commissioned on Sunday at the John Batman Centre. Why not be there and share in the worship of God?

Hebrews 8:10 (NIV)
10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008


The world doesn't seem short of opinions. On most every subject opinions flourish as if the truth depended upon them. Of course, an opinion has little to do with certainty, otherwise it wouldn't be an opinion. When expressed by someone we trust, the opinion takes on meaning. If it is someone inexperienced on the subject, we "consider the source."

When it comes to the gospel, we need not simply express opinions. The Word of God makes it clear that God loves each of us and that He has a plan for us to connect with him into eternity. It's a good plan, and it's not simply an opinion. Hallelujah!

2 Peter 1:20 (MSG)
20 The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion.

Monday, 24 November 2008


The Deputy Prime Minister had several opportunities today to speak to the educational issues in Australia. Dr. Joel Klein, the education chancellor in New York City was in Melbourne today at her request to add to the dialogue about the future.

There is no question but that we need to do our best with the education of our children and youth. If we don't serve them well, everyone loses. I celebrate every endeavor to constructively improve the education of our kids.

Proverbs 18:15 (MSG)
15 Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


One of the most satisfying feelings in the world is when you've finished a job or a project. When you have finished what you've been working on and can put the thing to bed, you might even sleep better.

I particularly enjoy the auto navigation system when you arrive at your location. Some systems even say, "you have arrived."

I recommend fully that when you have a major project, you break it up into smaller parts and celebrate the completion of the individual steps. It'll help keep you moving and give you satisfaction in the process.

1 John 4:12 (MSG)
12 No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Beyond Connections

In the aftermath of Connections '07, there has continued a dialogue all around the territory to consider the "what now" question. With the immediate support of soldiers, employees, staff members, men, women, younger and older, we are at the point of declaration.

Stay tuned. Our future is coming into focus and it involves all of us. Hallelujah!

1 Peter 1:21 (MSG)
21 It's because of this sacrificed Messiah, whom God then raised from the dead and glorified, that you trust God, that you know you have a future in God.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Economic Downturn

These days are becoming more difficult financially for many people. The thought of losing your job can be devastating. The pressures on all of us related to everyday expenses are increasing. When will we see relief?

The prognosticators remain convinced that this is not simply an overnight glitch. If they're right, the list of people in dire straights will only increase and the need for our service will go up commensurately.

Seek the Lord in these days. His peace will be of comfort to you and could be the difference between giving up and holding on. Hold on to Jesus.

Romans 12:9 (MSG)
9 Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Witnesses for Christ

God has blessed our territory with the Witnesses for Christ session of Cadets. Each one is a credit to TSA and certainly an honour to God. They're ready to be commissioned as officers and to enter the field in the joy of the Lord.

As I attempt to imagine their future service, my heart swells with excitement to consider the thousands of people who will meet the Lord as a result. They're a faithful lot with all the expectation of any of the previous sessions. Hallelujah!

Acts 22:15 (MSG)
15 You are to be a key witness to everyone you meet of what you've seen and heard.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Berwick, Victoria

The mid-week meeting was a regular feature in TSA for many years. At the Berwick Corps, they have a monthly, mid-week holiness meeting. It's a beaut idea and one that is designed to support their corps programme leaders. Good on ya'

Captains Craig and Karinna Exon are the Corps Officers who have set this up and who are trusting God for His instruction. Some other nearby corps also join in for the occasion. Well done.

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

Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Carolyn ministered with the friends at the Greensborough, Victoria Corps this past Sunday. The day was focused upon God in prayer. It included prayer meetings, worship, fellowship and a prayer seminar. They deeply considered praying the Scriptures for intimate worship. In the afternoon, they conducted neighbourhood visitation, soliciting prayer requests and providing prayer support as needed.

Thank you Majors Stephen and Elizabeth Wallace and your corps team for this faithful expression of holy living. Hallelujah!

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, 17 November 2008

Hong Kong Island East Corps

So my first visit to Hong Kong included attending the Hong Kong Island East Corps. Officered by Major Maureen Ki, it is a beautiful corps, fully functioning and alive in their faith. I was particularly impressed with the large percentage of young adults. I imagine that we could learn alot from this corps on that subject.

With so many delegates of the SPEA Health Consultation, it was a multi-national worship service with translation abounding in the room. Even with all these potential barriers we sensed the presence of God and celebrated His love. Hallelujah!

Matthew 1:21 (NIV)
21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Save the World Army

In Japan and China, the characters used to name The Salvation Army, literally read, "Save the World Army." I like it. As if our name doesn't sufficiently inform us and all of our mission, the Save the World Army does resoundingly.

This is our calling and the focus of our mission. The emphasis is to be on Salvation, not army. Let's do it. Hallelujah!

Titus 3:4-6 (NIV)
"4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
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,
6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,"

Saturday, 15 November 2008

God's Creation Continued

I see cities as the continuance of God's creation. Through His creation, these amazing centres of humanity have emerged with thought, intentionality and great hope. They're designed for the best of humanity.

I know not everyone agrees with me and that they see heaven as more of a peaceful garden with children at the feet of Jesus. I've seen the picture.

Truth is that heaven is called the new Jerusalem...a city.

Look for God in the city. You'll see Him in the image of everyone you see. I mean everyone.

Genesis 1:26 (MSG)
26 God spoke: "Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the air, the cattle, And, yes, Earth itself, and every animal that moves on the face of Earth."

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Regional Facilitation Teams

These teams have circled the globe in the name of TSA and have done some amazing things. Their early work with aides related consultancies still maintain the standard in such ministry. Moving accross community capacity arenas, they strengthened their approaches through communities around the world.

The International Health Office is taking new steps these days in an attempt to be relevant for today in new ways. It will be interesting to see what the team comes up with. Pray for this ministry. The potential continues to be powerful.

Luke 8:48 (MSG)
48 Jesus said, "Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!"

SPEA Health Ministries Workshop

There is currently a series of meetings taking place to consider health ministries in TSA, particularly as it relates to the South Pacific East Asia Zone. We have good representation there and it will be interesting to see what comes out of the meetings.

When we consider our holistic approach to ministry, we must include matters of well being and health. I think we do more of this than we know. We may have closed our hospitals in the west, but ministry dealing with health continues.

Luke 8:47 (MSG)
47 When the woman realized that she couldn't remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Pray for each other

The best gift to give a friend is to pray for them. You don't necessarily need to tell them even. Some of the best things I do for friends, they don't know about.

Make a list of your best friends. Use it to go one by one in prayer on their behalf.

Now make a list of the people you don't particularly get along with...and pray for them one by one as well.

At the end of this time, you will have spent more time with God. That makes you better...and God has heard of your heart on the people you've brought before Him.

Make a practise of it.

3 John 1:2 (MSG)
2 We're the best of friends, and I pray for good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health—that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!

Monday, 10 November 2008

What are friends for?

Look around. See a friend? Do you see a friend in trouble or with a particular need? Then help them. That's what friends are for.

Is your friend a Christian? Encourage them. Lead your friend to Jesus. That's what friends are for.

Can't actually help your friend by yourself? Get some help and get the right kind. That's what friends are for.

The more you support your friend, the better friend you'll become.

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

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Mt. Gambier, SA

God has given us a fantastic weekend in Mount Gambier, South Australia. It is the occasion of their 125th anniversary and they are on their way to scale new heights in the next 125 years. Majors Chris and Steve Black with their effective team of local officers prepared celebration after celebration to the glory of God. He has been at work in and through this corps for 125 years. Hallelujah!

From the moment we arrived to our departure this afternoon we observed the movement of the Spirit of God. He led us in worship, caring and consecration. This is a great corps following our Lord with complete hopefulness. Bless the Lord.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Friday, 7 November 2008


I enjoy going to the Training College to see the cadets. They're motivated, alive and well. Their hearts are right and they are ready to hit the field. They are a blessing of God.

It's beautiful how God has called them and equipped them to serve Him. A significant part of their journey at the College is that of character building. All good people and fully saved, we spoke today about their character. Truly, some Christians have difficulty with their character. SA leaders need to be persons of strong character. You can learn more from 2 Peter 1:5-8.

2 Peter 1:3 (NIV)
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Social Inclusion

Now the election of the American president is a good example of social inclusion. An African American parent can now say to their son, "You can grow up to be what you want to be...even the president of the United States." This is good.

There are some very happy people in the US these days. The news reports from around the world are in synch as well. The American approval rating world-wide is up at least for now. It's been a blessing to observe the celebrations depicted in the media. Tears of joy are flowing.

Lord, bless him and his family. May his leadership be the right light for these days.

Colossians 1:16 (NIV)
16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Officer Review Conference

Those officer that have served ten and eleven years are meeting this week at the Geelong Conference Centre. They're under the leadership of Major Christine Faragher. Each day is filled with sessions of good teachers on subjects related to the needs of these officers at this point of their officership.

We met with them Monday and enjoyed the time together. They're responsive, interested and engaging. Pray for these servants who continue to seek God's favour in their individual journeys.

Psalm 18:22 (MSG)
22 Every day I review the ways he works; I try not to miss a trick.

Monday, 3 November 2008


The Bible Society and Light FM radio sponsored a community hymnsing at the Melbourne Town Hall. About 1300 people joined to sing mostly Christmas Carols along with the Box Hill Corps Songsters and the Camberwell Citadel Corps Band. Both of our groups represented the Lord quite well.

Another feature of the event was the recognition of General Eva Burrows with a lifetime achievement award. She graciously accepted and gave great words to us all in doing so.

Ephesians 5:19 (MSG)
19 Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Tap Dancin' Worship

I've been to plenty of meetings and worship opportunities that made my foot tap to the rhythm. Today was the first time I've seen tap dance as a part of the worship. Before you jump to conclusions, it fit and it was appropriate.

Why not? We can praise the Lord with joyful expressions. He delights in our delight. I prayed with three different men at the mercy seat. All were seeking the same Saviour as am I.

1 Thessalonians 4:1 (MSG)
1 One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited dance.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

USA Election

While dedicated to being apolitical, we do have a place to encourage people to vote. Here in Australia voting is required. In the US, it would be unusual for 40% of the population to vote. Perhaps this election has generated enough interest to encourage more to vote than ever. We've already mailed in our ballots.

One could point to the extraordinary problems of the election process, but it doesn't justify not voting. You need to be in the process to make a difference.

The same is true about our beloved Army. It needs constant correction and realignment. You can be a part of the solution or not.

2 Corinthians 5:14 (MSG)
14 Christ's love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do. Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat.