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."


Anonymous said...

maybe a Kid's Church could be included in the morning program for next year

David said...

I was present at the afternoon session.

God was not present.

There is a pattern developing here. Having met a handful of Salvo officers, the pattern is that none of them show the presence or character of God.

Why is that so?

Rebecca said...

I thought today's service was awesome, good job Jim and to all the others who put today together!

David, I'm glad to say that most of the time the officers I meet are inspirational, don't let the handful you have met get you down. I know of some awful things that some officer's have done and said but God doesn't want you to focus on that coz then you'll be so bogged down with those thoughts you'll forget God's joy for yourself, I've seen it happen to lots of ppl, dont let it happen to you!

Praise the Lord for everything! Again, Awesome day :)

Anonymous - The kid's were loud today weren't they ?? lol

Anonymous said...

The children of The Salvation Army were not included in today's worship. Please take this into consideration.
David - God was there! Ask and it shall be given. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will open.

Anonymous said...

It was heavy going today, but some good stuff. I had to go home and read Ps.138 after Debbie Wilson's testimony. The scripture presentations in both meetings were very inspiring.

Don't forget to take note of the Chief Secretary's challenge to put the polo shirts in the drawer and put on the blue uniforms. I thought considering his hairstyle he would have mentioned about wearing caps & hats also!

It was good to come together and celebrate.

Nicky said...

Dear MDW,

The CS is a good friend of mine and to make comments about someone's personal appearance, especially in a public forum like this, is pretty crap.

Please stick to commenting on things that matter. I don't agree with his thoughts about the polo shirts but this doesn't give me the right to publicly put someone down, please show a bit more maturity.

I wish we'd put our red shield on the polo shirts and get rid of the horrible, ugly words - even the crest would be better (just joking:-)). Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Hi David,

Maree again... we met on Captain Collos blog. Keep smiling my friend, we know that you love us... that is why you keep coming back!

Chris Footer said...

The session name is the Witnesses for Christ (not Jesus as stated in the OP). A small correction I know, but one which I'm sure the cadets would appreciate.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I didn't attend the morning meeting.. so i kinda missed the whole stand up on stage if you've been called to officership yada yada.. but its all good.

I enjoyed this afternoons meeting.
I REALLY enjoyed Rays message. I thought he stirred things up a bit there. Praise Jesus! I hope it stirred something up in a few peoples hearts.. sounds like it has already ;)

Also Nicky, there are a few of tshirts with the Salvo sheild on it. There are HEAPS actually.. I would call that a uniform also, its still representing the Salvation Army.. and they're quite comfortable =P

Jim you're doing a great job, keep up the amazing work. You inspire me by the way you live your life for Jesus.

Bless you! xx

wendy said...

I thought the weekend was great. I didn't mind the kids yesterday morning, it is good to have the whole family of God celebrating together!!

I would like to add 2 suggestions though.
1. The concert Saturday night was still predominately singing and band. What about fanning into flame the drama, more timbrels, more dance, instead of more of the same. The performers were musically excellent, but let's have variety. In my opinion the Alice Springs ladies were the best on the night - so simple yet profound, yet they only were given a short time.

2. What about dinner boxes on sunday lunch? We missed fellowship with others due to finding a venue to get some lunch. As we came from the country it was difficult to take our lunch with us. So feel missed a little in that regard.

Otherwise a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

Well i didnt make it to the service! Bit hard when one is in Tassie!

However i was beleiving for a great service for all. At our corps we had a new soldier sworn in, so it was a special day. Priase Jesus!

David, its one thing to leave negative comments all over salvo bloggs which is what you seem to enjoy doing, however it is another to turn up and "diss" sacred ceremonies and moments and memories for folk who have worked so hard. That is very sad. Fair enough if you do not share the views of TSA or christianity, (no one has forced any view upon you), however allow some respect and dignity for those who really beleive that the Lord has called them to sacrifice their lives through the call of officership. I am certian you would expect the same respect and dignity to be granted to you by any officer or soldier, and i have no doubt that you would have recieved it, no matter what your personal opinions of them are. Live and let live!

I hope and pray that you find whatever it is you are so adament about looking for, but please dont do it at others expense! The Lord bless you!

The highest of blessings, congratulations to all new officers from Tasmania !! :)

David said...

You should take more care with your criticism, anon from Tassie. I can understand that you would not want rituals that are dear to you to be mocked by others. But that was not the content of my statement. Seeing as you were not able to attend, I should tell you that it was blatantly obvious to any casual observer that a great deal of hard work by many people had gone into the commissioning weekend.

There seems to be a belief amongst some people that God's presence can be invoked if enough people put in enough effort. Isn't that plainly incorrect? That's like believing in magic.

And I would question your terminology of "sacred ceremonies". Do you show the same respect towards "sacred ceremonies" of all faiths and beliefs, not matter how outlandish they appear to be? Or is it the case that the personal domain is beyond objective analysis? Are your feelings more important than the truth?

Do you see any incongruity between what you consider as sacred and the absence of communion and baptism (as traditionally understood) from the Salvo's "sacred ceremonies"?

These latter are biblically condoned, so if you are not practising the commands of Christ, how do you expect to see God's presence?

Anonymous said...

Why do we entertain David? We all know he is negative, critical, will always find something to throw back at us??? He often makes us fume with what he writes.

Why??? Because we love him! Simple. He doesn't seem to love us in return, but that is Christianity in full force. Rather than feed his 'arguments' and make him more tense and disagreeable about our faith... just LOVE him. If we want to send a message, show to him that although he struggles with things, we are here. He is obviously dealing with things from his past, maybe his 'now'... sending comments and arguing online won't help him (or all the people who have to read the messages). If we knew who he was we could sit with him and discuss issues face to face, wouldnt that be more beneficial.

My challenge for everyone is just to pray for him and if you know him personally, then show that great love which Christ would express if he were here on this earth. I wish I knew him, he doesn't like anonymous messages, but to me he is an anonymous writer cause he is not a personal friend.

David, I will love you even when I wonder why you keep coming online if we make you so mad with what we write. Obviously you are searching, I pray you find what you're looking for. I pray you find happiness somewhere.


jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The Army is most certainly in great place with people who are willing to give themselves to others. For that is what we are called to do, and willingly so. To the praise of our heavely Father, may His kingdom come through the presence of those who follow Him.


David said...

"I have seen something else under the sun:
The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come:
As fish are caught in a cruel net,
or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them."

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12

Anonymous said...

Hi again David,

You do raise some interesting and thought provoking arguments. I do respect your intelligence and also acknowledge your insight into aspects which you have noted.

Firstly i do wish to apologise to you, for not immediately displaying the love of Christ that many others here have demonstrated to you with thier words.That you deserved first! :)

People gathering does not instantly mean amazing signs from above, and depending on how you see it and interpret it, it can be likened to watching a bunch of people beleiving in magic.I understand what you are saying! Have been there before! It really is in the eye of the beholder!

Your comments about sacred ceremonies have caused me much ponderings....Let me explain....

I am not actually a salvationist at all. I am neither an officer, a soldier, an adherant, or even someone who has grown up in TSA. I am someone who so happens to attend a corps and have attended many all across this country.

My roots have come from very charasmatic/pentecostal foundations. I have been water baptised, and have partaken in communion many, many times. I have had many a hillsong experience, deliverance experience, experience of sheer revelation from the throne room of God, in many different forms and contexts.

I am someone who has held ministry and leadership positions in many diverse denonomnations all over this country.

I am also someone who has also lived as a non christain, who did used to steal, lie, fornicate, get in trouble with the police,be an alchoholic, on and on. So i am not a spoon fed christian either!

I am also someone who just so happened to find myself working for TSA as a very young adult in literally front line work/ministry with TSA and its officers. I was personally trained by officers. I am someone who has been threatened with violence and death, because of my work in this particular ministry of TSA.I have watched officers go through the same.

In this experience i watched the outworkings of the sacrifice that is officership, which is daily, moment by moment.

I have chosen to "forsake all others" in attending TSA. I have received percecution from other christians about this decision, even members from my own family.

And no, I do not see TSA through rose coloured glasses either. I have watched soliders rip each other apart, and witnessed the destruction in the aftermath. I have heard the gut wrentching stories of heartache sitting in an active officers office in DHQ in somewhere town, Australia, and also heard horrific stories of all kinds of drama and scandel from x officers.

In my dealings and experience as a christian David, i can tell you first hand that there is no christian denomination that is "above" another. There is no man made ceremony or doctrine that can instantly transform you into salvation. Salvation is only in and through Jesus Christ. That is done through faith, and is something that no matter how much you blog or turn up to a service anywhere, can be understood by a mortal mind. Faith surpasses all our feelings and emotions, and even values, principles.

You made valid points about respect. I respect salvationists stand on NOT partaking in communion or baptism. I urge you to go back and seek out further information as to "why" they do not partake. I think you will be surprised at the surprising logical conclusion as to the "why". I undersand how this conclusion came about.

Am i on a mission to convert the salvationists? No. Will i turn up at some corps somewhere, convinced that they are all going to hell because they are not baptised, and drag them all down to the river to dunk them? No.

I beleive that each person walking their path with Christ, needs to be respected for the decisions that they are led to do and partake. It is not for you or I to stand in a place of judgement over what others believe God has told them to do, regardless of what WE think.

I was personally "pushed" into water baptism. We could debate about that. Baptism is biblical, however the bible bashing of it is not! I will not sit in a church and have communion forced on me either. Whilst these ceremonies are biblical, many do not consider the imperitive administration surrounding it. There is a context that needs to be considered when choosing to partake. Not many churches consider or acknowledge that. It is frequently neglected!

Communion is not actually apart of the package of salvation. As for baptism, it is a very personal ceremony that one chooses to partake in or not. That is between the person and the Lord.

Unfortunately or perhaps fortunately you found my "salvo in trouble, go to defend" button. So why do i have this?

I know what it is to be in a position of church leadership, and have been betrayed, abandoned, abused, exploited. I have seen officers walk parrallel paths to mine.

Will i take a bullet for an TSA officer? It is certain and guaranteed that i will. In some ways i dont know why, i walk this question daily. So that may sound like a contradiction. All i can say that there is a very evident fire & passion in me about these people. "Regular christians" dont understand what i have said above either!

TSA walk the path in many ways being the persecuted church within the persecuted church! Other christians are so quick to judge TSA. They all gather frequently and pray for "the church". The reality is though that they exclude certain parts of the church, namely TSA. They do not acknowledge that TSA is apart of the bride of christ, and as far as i understand, you can not pray for one without acknowledging the other. That does not make biblical sense!

Unfortunately David, the reality is that there is discention & disunity within the church. (speaking generally, and not necessarily about TSA or any other denomination). One leader will disagree with another, one group will seperate from another group. You will not find a perfect body dressed up in baptist, pentecostal, uniting, apostolic, clothing. You will find people who beleive in Jesus Christ and struggle with their humanity in the midst of the religious institution. Christians are not perfect, absolutely no one is! We do our best with what we have, and often things dont work out.

The only one we can point you to is Jesus! Who is perfect, and who has the answers you so long to hear!

So again i apologise for my instant reaction to you and your comments. It comes from a place of sincere love of these people, who have been abandoned by "the church" in many ways.

What you will find is that TSA will go where other christians and denominations just wont. TSA is real and motivated within their work in the community, and arent there just to look good. There is an evident standard of sheer holiness, and humility that other groups just do not have and never will have. I can personally attest to that!!

Go to as many corps as possible in Melbourne. They are so different and varied in their approach.

God bless you, still anon & still in tassie.

Anonymous said...

hahaha.. i love it how everyone has an opinion =P

David said...

Mostly agreed with the sentiment behind your detailed response, anon from Tasmania. Let me say that I have never been offended by what you or any other people say on these blogs - my approach to that one is that irritating people are an opportunity for personal change.

Anyway, your response made me think that belief is really very unimportant. Is it not the case that personal and relational behaviour is all that counts? That, and the things that motivate behaviour. There is more to say on this (such as the role of understanding and integrating diversity), but it's not relevant to this blog topic.

Anonymous said...

Personal change is a good and required thing.

At the end of the day we are all going to have to give account of our motivations justified through our beliefs, actions, relational behavior.

All that matters is that the sinners prayer is said, and the repentance is released from our hard, understanding hearts. Logic, intelligence, natural human condition immediately resists repentance which is the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ! The mind cries out, " but i am justified ! why do i need to repent! i refuse"

Repentance is the key in which the doors of heaven are opened, and the sheer glory of His presence, His comfort, His deliverance and healing are poured onto us in the instance it is confessed. Any one can repent and recieve salvation in Jesus Christ. God is not a respecter of persons, so it is not kept for an elite people. His salvation is FREE!

God bless TSA, & all new officers!

Anonymous said...

What an interesting stream of comments.... I only have one, based on the last Anon comment about the sinner's prayer - where is this prayer found in scripture? Where do we get this notion that the 'sinner's prayer' guarantees entry to heaven. What if you don't know the gospel, but have some inner witness to the existence of God and live according to that inner witness - ooops, sorry, no 'sinner's prayer' so no salvation? The heavens declare the glory of God...

Christianity is full of rituals, beliefs, ceremonies, expectations, joys, hardships, amazing people, fools and cannot be reduced to the saying of a specific prayer that as far as I have searched, doesn't actually exist in the Bible.

God sees our hearts.

Annette - I work for TSA but don't consider myself a Salvo (even though Jim does!)

Nicky said...

Well said Anon, I've never been able to find the "sinners prayer" either. Personally, I think being a Salvo is about working FOR the Salvos, its a bit like when Jesus says, "if they're not against us they're for us. Thanks for your contribution to our movement ;-).

Anonymous said...

To Annette,

I agree with you that there is no so called sinners prayer in the bible and if anything this has become a stumbling block to others as what happens to someone who hasn't said this so called prayer?
I would like to take you up on the point of this inner witness. While the heavens do declare the glory of God and we can sumize that there is a Creator this doesn't make us Christian. For us to be Chrisitan, to have a personal relationship with Jesus where we have given up our all to Him, we need to hear God's word that comes from the Bible. Can God prepare peoples hearts for this event? Yes, but salvation doesn't occur before hand. We have to be very careful as how can we have a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and the work He did for us upon the cross outside of God's word? Gods word and salvation come together hand in hand so let us not seperate the two and have them in the right order. God's word then salvation.

God Bless You Annette

Greg T

Annette said...

Greg, What a shame for those who don't have the opportunity to hear the gospel and follow your formula - seems they are damned according to your theology.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reply Annette,

It is a shame, it is heart renching and should play upon our souls that we must act and do something. That is where our Chrisitan mission comes from, not only the great commandment but the realization that we must tell all of God's love and grace so they may be saved from Hell. As for this being my theology I don't think I am drawing to long a bow and saying that this has been a protestant view for hundreds of years. In 1John 5:11-12 we read that God has given us eternal life but this exists only to those who have the Son, those who have a personal relationship with Him. We need to get away from what I describe as universalism, the view that all paths lead to God as it is false, a lie. As I started with let's get this urgency to procalim the good news to everyone so none may be lost.

God Bless You

Greg T

David said...

Where is the part about "personal relationship" mentioned in that 1 John 5 passage?

In fact, where did this idea of a personal relationship with God/Jesus arise? I can see references to obediance, belief and repentance - none of these imply a "personal relationship", in fact, they suggest anything but a personal relationship.

Jim Knaggs said...

John 15:9-17 (NIV)
9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
17 This is my command: Love each other.

Nicky said...

One of the great things I've learned is that love doesn't necesarily mean agree. I have friends that I agree with and friends I don't agree with. I have a partner, whom I married nearly twenty years ago, some of our disagreeements have been resolved others we still take a differing point of view. I think that's how we grow.

I think that there is plenty of Scripture that refers to some sort of personal relationship/involvement/connection with God, (the idea of Emmanuel - God dwelling with us is just one), however, I think this is played out in our relationships with others as well. For some this may be their way of experiencing God in person.