Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Salvos Out There

God has given us a sacred and exciting mission. The mission is about transforming lives, caring for people, making disciples and reforming society. Following our work in Connections and Connecting Forward, we asked God what He was saying to us of the Australia Southern Territory.

Salvos Out There is an engagement that will enable us to fulfill His calling upon our lives and our movement. In this plan we will begin to get out of our comfort zones to meet and engage our neighbours and community to know and honour God.

Be on the lookout for materials that will support you and others to facilitate the mission of God.

2 Samuel 19:7 (MSG)
7 Get hold of yourself; get out there and put some heart into your servants! I swear to God that if you don't go to them they'll desert; not a soldier will be left here by nightfall. And that will be the worst thing that has happened yet."

Monday, 22 June 2009

God's Grace is for You

There are so many people who have a hard time recognising God's grace. What is it that He has to do? Some who win the lottery are quick to thank God, and they probably should. When a person finds a soul mate, they often thank God. When a calamity is narrowly avoided like a close call, gratitude to God is common.

Then do we need a win, or a victory, happiness, or an avoided disaster to see grace? Maybe so.

He could do something dramatic for all of us, instead of one thing at a time in the hope that we get it. So He did. Solving the sin problem and demonstrating His love to all, He gave His son to take our deserved place at no expense to us, only belief. God's grace is for you and me. Hallelujah!

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

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Thinking of Fathers



Dick & Rick Hoyt, father and son run in marathons together and Ironman competitions as well. I suggest you have a tissue ready as you click on the video link above. Thanks to Team Camberwell Corps for the reference.

Our Father cares for us in this way. Hallelujah!

John 5:20 (MSG)
20 The Father loves the Son and includes him in everything he is doing. “But you haven’t seen the half of it yet,

Saturday, 20 June 2009

A Promise

Last November, a good friend made a promise to me that I fully expected him to keep. He did. Today, he kept his word and delivered his promise in person at my home. Bless the Lord.

We get a lot of promises in the journey. Many of them are not kept for one reason or another. A child is greatly disappointed when an adult can't keep their word. Trust is easily betrayed and difficult to regain.

The Lord is never short in His promises. His closeness, interest and hope for us is guaranteed. We can count on Him. Thank you, Lord.

2 Peter 1:4 (MSG)
4 We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Communication

I suggest that we do everything within our reach to communicate the love of God. Connect when and where we can. We might be standing in line at McDonald's or sitting at the counter of our favourite cafe. Look for ways to share this life saving message.

Maybe we're on the phone at work or standing in a crowded train. Let's take the best opportunity we can. Family coming over or going to the game? Think about how you can communicate the gospel. People's lives are at stake. May God help us as we do.

Romans 14:21 (MSG)
21 When you sit down to a meal, your primary concern should not be to feed your own face but to share the life of Jesus. So be sensitive and courteous to the others who are eating. Don't eat or say or do things that might interfere with the free exchange of love.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Army Alive!

I like to play chess, but I'm more excited at a Footy match. I enjoy sitting at the beach reading a book while listening to music, but I'm invigorated with the rythms in the heart of the city. I always loved tucking our kids into bed (when they were young), but I also enjoyed rolling on the floor with them in a wrestling match.

I want to belong to an Army that is alive. The aforementioned examples might suggest that this may be a comment about active and passive. It's not. Being alive means to rise to excitement when God is at work in a person and to fill with joy at a moment of quiet rejoicing at the feet of Jesus.

Let's put some life into our journey, smelling the roses, and actively participating in the glorious grace of God. Hallelujah!

1 Peter 3:18 (MSG)
18 That's what Christ did definitively: suffered because of others' sins, the Righteous One for the unrighteous ones. He went through it all—was put to death and then made alive—to bring us to God.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Looking for Solutions

Want to talk about what's wrong with the world? Enjoy yourself, but can we get to the solutions? The sky is falling...does anyone have an umbrella or something?

Sure, understanding the problem is the beginning of solving it. Can we move on to the solutions? Do we have constructive ideas yo offer? We should.

I believe it was Eldridge Cleaver who said, "If you're not a part of the solution, you're a part of the problem." I think there's some truth there. If you're looking for me today, come over to those who are working on solutions. I hope to be with them.

Zechariah 8:6 (MSG)
6 A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: "Do the problems of returning and rebuilding by just a few survivors seem too much? But is anything too much for me? Not if I have my say."

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Organisational Structures

Once upon a time we were comfortable with linear organisational structures with clear and direct lines of authority. More and more, these systems do not serve us or our mission. One of our problems is that we are so accustomed to these definitions, it's like crawling out of a cavern to consider other possibilities.

Let us be courageous and fresh in our thinking. The new frameworks are more fluid and shapeless and likely susceptible to change sooner than later. I believe we're up to it if we will put ourselves into it with open minds and mission focus. Yes, Lord.

2 Chronicles 2:6 (MSG)
6 But who is capable of building such a structure? Why, the skies—the entire cosmos!—can't begin to contain him. And me, who am I to think I can build a house adequate for God—burning incense to him is about all I'm good for!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Salvo Stores

Across the territory you'll find Salvo Stores. They represent a positive way for people to give their used garments and objects so that others may choose to purchase them at reasonable prices. The income after expenses goes to further support the mission of The Salvation Army.

I'm grateful for every employee and volunteer who help to make this ministry possible. Most of us could find something in the closet to give. Can I suggest that you fix the button or clean the garment first? If the appliance doesn't work, we cannot use it. Thanks for your understanding and support.

Hebrews 13:16 (MSG)
16 Make sure you don't take things for granted and go slack in working for the common good; share what you have with others. God takes particular pleasure in acts of worship—a different kind of "sacrifice"—that take place in kitchen and workplace and on the streets.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Songs of a Faith

We thoroughly enjoyed the songs in worship today at the corps. There was a beautiful mix of genre which was most inspiring and interesting. Accompaniments were the band, piano, organ and music ensemble. Often the music in worship touches my soul deeply as it did today.

Much of the songs we sing are inspired by one of our favourite songwriters, David. The Psalms are sensational and worthy of our attention. I understand that the Reverend Billy Graham reads at least one each day of his life. Give it a try and enjoy the songs of our faith.

Psalms 1:1-2 (MSG)
1 How well God must like you— you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, you don't slink along Dead-End Road, you don't go to Smart-Mouth College.
2 Instead you thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Newcrest Mining Limited

We at The Salvation Army are grateful again to Newcrest Mining Limited for their good support. Having donated considerable funds to Bushfire Relief, they now add to that with employee donations and a corporate match. This is very much appreciated and will be used as promised.

In addition, we entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with them today for the Tinning Street Project. By this arrangement they are supporting both the Creative Opportunities programme and the Brunswick Youth Services of TSA. This is a valuable partnership and we are thankful to this company, their leaders and their employees for this practical concern for their community.

1 Peter 5:2 (MSG)
2 Here's my concern: that you care for God's flock with all the diligence of a shepherd. Not because you have to, but because you want to please God. Not calculating what you can get out of it, but acting spontaneously.[

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Officers at Work

In addition to employees, volunteers, Soldiers and other members, our officers are fully engaged. From the smallest community to the largest, they are gainfully functioning in their very important roles and purely in their witness of God's grace in their lives.

We are very fortunate to know and work with so many wonderful people. God is alive in them and they are serving Him with diligence and integrity. Thank you, Lord for each one and for your love in them.

1 John 4:7 (MSG)
7 My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

God is at Work

God is amazing in the way He reveals Himself in our day to day existence. In no less than two meetings today, His prevenient grace was evident. Hallelujah!

We can rest tonight knowing that He is in control. We need not be anxious. We can trust Him.

Psalms 34:4 (MSG)
4 God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

More Awardees

Name: NOTTAGE, Donald James
Award: Medal of the Order of Australia
Post-nominal: OAM
Date granted: 08 June 2009
State: Qld
Suburb: Curra
Postcode: 4570
Citation: For service to the community through The Salvation Army and ex-service groups.


Name: HINDLE, Constance Joan
Award: Medal of the Order of Australia
Post-nominal: OAM
Date granted: 08 June 2009
State: NSW
Suburb: Toronto
Postcode: 2283
Citation: For service to the community in the area of social welfare, and to The Salvation Army.


Name: HINDLE, Stanley James
Award: Medal of the Order of Australia
Post-nominal: OAM
Date granted: 08 June 2009
State: NSW
Suburb: Toronto
Postcode: 2283
Country: n/a
Citation: For service to the community in the area of social welfare, and to The Salvation Army.


May God bless you each and may this recognition affirm you in your honour to God.


1 Timothy 1:17 (MSG)
17 Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time— One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always. Oh, yes!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Major David Eldridge AM

Search Australian Honours - Simple Search
Name: ELDRIDGE, David John

Award: Member of the Order of Australia

Post-nominal: AM

Date granted: 08 June 2009

State: Vic

Suburb: Belmont

Postcode: 3216

Country: n/a

Citation:

For service to youth through policy development and service delivery to homeless and unemployed people.

Well deserved, Major Eldridge. You bring honour to God.

James 3:18 (MSG)
18 You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Good Leadership

One of the things I look for in leadership is encouragement and affirmation. Where this is lacking, there won't be many followers. This is not to detach from reality where the truth hurts sometime, but I'm convinced that a good leader recognises the value of positive leadership.

More of us are leaders at some point in our lives. Let's do so with constructive intention to the glory of God.

Colossians 4:8 (MSG)
8 I've sent him to you so that you would know how things are with us, and so he could encourage you in your faith.

Friday, 5 June 2009

More Answers to Prayer

God keeps bringing it on. With a meeting of one of His servants, He reveals answers to prayers that I've been speaking to Him about. Today, that's all I'm going to say about this. It's a little sensitive to others, so I'll keep the specifics to myself.

Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness to us. You have my devotion.

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, 4 June 2009

Majors Allan and Lorraine Daddow

The Daddows are champions of the faith. They serve the Lord with gladness, integrity and humility. The time is coming soon when they will retire. We enjoyed a dinner programme tonight in their honour. You can imagine that they deferred praise to the Lord. They love Him and have served Him throughout their officership. Hallelujah!

May each of our lives point to the grace of God so well.

1 Peter 2:5 (MSG)
5 Present yourselves as building stones for the construction of a sanctuary vibrant with life, in which you'll serve as holy priests offering Christ-approved lives up to God.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

TrueFaced

The men from Leadership Catalyst were with us tonight, teaching insights on the ascent of a leader. They spoke of relationships of trust and environments of grace. It's Biblical and compelling.

It's very much about being like Jesus. They use the expression, trufaced. That's in contradistinction to being two-faced. None of us positively appreciate people who are two-faced. Why would we want to be that way? I'm aiming to be truefaced. You?

Philippians 4:8 (MSG)
8 Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Partnerships

God designed us for relationships. Our deepest satisfaction is found in relationships.

Now think about corporate relationships. Is it possible that God would lead us toward these as well? I absolutely think so. It fits with His plan for us to be interconnected, valuing and trusting each other.

Now what do we do? Healthy relationships and intentional partnerships.

2 Corinthians 5:18 (MSG)
18 All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Christian Management of Australia Conference

This is a good group. Their conference is this week in Melbourne. Along with other Salvos, I was at their pre-conference intensives today, where the Truefaced team was teaching. It was worth every minute.

The conference continues tomorrow and Wednesday. I'll be there.

1 John 5:20 (MSG)
20 And we know that the Son of God came so we could recognize and understand the truth of God—what a gift!—and we are living in the Truth itself, in God's Son, Jesus Christ. This Jesus is both True God and Real Life.

Sunday, 31 May 2009

Pentecost and Candidates

As God would have it, our Candidates Seminar Sunday and Pentecost Sunday were one in the same. Plainly stated, when a person is filled with the Spirit of God, they will take the right steps.

The Holy Spirit anointed us this morning in His presence. There are quite a few from most parts of the territory that were there seeking God's grace. Hallelujah!

We thank Majors Len and Marney Turner for their faithfulness in leading the experience throughout the weekend.

Acts 2:39 (MSG)
39 The promise is targeted to you and your children, but also to all who are far away—whomever, in fact, our Master God invites."

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Bands in the Round

Five brass bands joined together tonight at the Northcote Town Hall. Each band was great and their choice of music superior. We were inspired and affirmed. The bands were:

Box Hill Corps Band

Waverley Temple Corps Band

Camberwell Corps Band

Ringwood Corps Band

Melbourne Staff Band

Thank you each for your witness and declaration of the Lordship of Jesus.

Judges 5:3 (MSG)
3 Hear O kings! Listen O princes! To God, yes to God, I'll sing, Make music to God, to the God of Israel.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Prime Minister's Office



Here's a perspective of a meeting of the minds.

Colossians 2:2 (MSG)
2 I want you woven into a tapestry of love, in touch with everything there is to know of God. Then you will have minds confident and at rest, focused on Christ, God's great mystery.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

The Prime Minister

We met with the Prime minister today in his office in Canberra. According to our records, this type of meeting doesn't happen very often. He is a genuine person with a great passion for Australia. His concerns are compelling and his plans for the country are in large measure consistent with our concerns.

It was deeper than a "meet and greet." We couldn't afford to confine ourselves to pleasantries. His awareness of not only our historic foundations, but theological background was impressive. He showed us great respect by his preparation, frankness and hopes for the future. As partners in so many efforts across the country, we are fortunate to be known so well and valued. God bless Mr. Rudd.

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

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Knowing God

When you know God, life is sweeter, more beautiful, and fulfilling. You can experience His love and holiness that refreshes your soul and stirs your hopes. God has found a way for us to relate to Him in terms we can understand. His name is Jesus. When we consider Jesus and the amazing way He served His Father, we begin to see how God desires to know us and relate to us.

After we know Jesus, we begin to see that certain people around us actually resemble Him and live their lives in the hope that they might reveal God to people around them.

Perhaps it's the other way around, where the person resembles Jesus who is the image of God, so our first awareness comes from holy people who know God. That sounds easy. Anyone can know God that way. What a plan.

1 Kings 8:60 (MSG)
60 Then all the people on earth will know God is the true God; there is no other God.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Constructive Ideas

There's always room for constructive ideas. The critical ideas have their place, but generally, we're probably aware of our faults already.

Consider the situations of your life at work, or home, or at church. Then focus on the positive solutions to these very issues. It's a much more satisfying journey and it might be the key to going forward.

2 Thessalonians 1:11 (MSG)
11 Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he's called you to be, pray that he'll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something.

Monday, 25 May 2009

A Hope and a Prayer

At the beginning of this day, I was asking the Lord for a certain confirmation of a very important hope. During the day He answered my prayer with a larger confirmation than I expected. Hallelujah!

Prayers answered. Onward march!

Philippians 3:13 (MSG)
13 Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Thank you, Australia

We've been receiving reports over the territory and the country that Australians have again stepped up to support their neighbours by giving to the Red Shield Appeal. Thank you, Australia.

The numbers are not all in and the appeal actually continues yet for a bit, but with today being the official door knock day, I must express the gratitude of TSA. My thanks goes too to the many who are working so hard to make it all work. It requires the whole community.

In this, while we celebrate the support, we do not celebrate the increasing need for Salvo help within the communities.

2 Corinthians 9:13 (MSG)
13 This relief offering is a prod to live at your very best, showing your gratitude to God by being openly obedient to the plain meaning of the Message of Christ. You show your gratitude through your generous offerings to your needy brothers and sisters, and really toward everyone.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Red Shield Appeal

It's here. We need to work together to make the appeal successful. One million people are counting on us.

1 Corinthians 16:2 (MSG)
2 Every Sunday each of you make an offering and put it in safekeeping. Be as generous as you can. When I get there you'll have it ready, and I won't have to make a special appeal.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Twitter Red Shield

This initiative of using twitter to support the Red Shield Appeal by Aaron, Grant, Phil & Rowan is awesome check it out... www.bit.ly/reds

You Tweet to share your life. Now you can Tweet to change the world. Your fingers. Your keyboard. US$5. Share a story. Then feed the hungry. House the homeless. Support the isolated. Change the world... How? Buy a Tweet. A Tweet that shares the story of the broken and the forgotten. A Tweet that shares how we can help restore equality to humanity. A Tweet that actually makes a contribution to a better world.You can purchase a Tweet for US$5. This Tweet will share how The Salvation Army serves our communities. The money goes to The Salvation Army's Red Shield Appeal. The funds raised in The Red Shield Appeal are used within The Salvation Army. The Salvation Army gives the money back to the community by providing food shelter, homes and personal support to the broken and forgotten of our world. Go on. It's only US$5.For more info check out www.salvationarmy.org.au/redshieldappeal

Isaiah 61:1 (MSG)
1 The Spirit of God, the Master, is on me because God anointed me. He sent me to preach good news to the poor, heal the heartbroken, Announce freedom to all captives, pardon all prisoners.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

The Whole Story 2

Another opportunity came to us tonight to do basically the same as last night, but in the Geelong area. I think that our plans here would rival any community of equal size in Australia.

There is a productive board and a solid strategic plan to serve even more people in this area. It's not that Geelong has greater needs, they have an sincere interest to help their people.

I'm convinced that by the will of God we can join with this good community to bring help, healing and hope to many. Hallelujah!

Psalms 40:10 (MSG)
10 I didn't keep the news of your ways a secret, didn't keep it to myself. I told it all, how dependable you are, how thorough. I didn't hold back pieces of love and truth For myself alone. I told it all, let the congregation know the whole story.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

The Whole Story

At a special gathering of donors tonight we were able to tell the whole story of TSA. Often, people don't really know who we are. They might say, "The Salvos do good things for people." That is not the whole story.

Let the world know that we do what we do because of the love of God. Do not tell them out of pride of rightness, but out of our love for God. Let them know how much He cares for every person and how He hopes for a loving relationship with each of us. Do what needs to be done to help a person understand. Call it social work. Call it social justice. Call it love. Tell the whole story.

John 4:25 (MSG)
25 The woman said, "I don't know about that. I do know that the Messiah is coming. When he arrives, we'll get the whole story."

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Support

Support can come from many sources and many directions. I really depend upon support in my journey and Carolyn is absolutely my best supporter. As she does, I'm encouraged to be my best because she knows me better than anyone and she stays with me.

One of the best things we can do for friends and strangers is support. When you base your support on the Word of God, there is no confusion as to whether or not it's constructive. You'll also appreciate the support is not meant to be reflective as to receive personal gain.

Who are you supporting today?

3 John 1:8 (MSG)
8 So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Trust

Isn't it great when you can trust someone? It allows you to rest in confidence of privacy and support. That can be a very comfortable place and non-threatening as well.

Who is it that you trust? There are different levels of trust, like the way we trust a security guard versus the way we trust our best friend. Who is it that you trust with your deepest thoughts?

You can trust God.

Proverbs 3:5 (MSG)
5 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Lt. Colonels Lyell and Elaine Rader

We have been advantaged this week with the visit and ministry of Lt. Colonels Lyell and Elaine Rader. They are extraordinary servants of God with a sterling witness and humble spirits.

They served in excess of 12 years in Sri Lanka in the course of their journey. As best I can tell, this service marked them in holy and practical ways. You recognise the veracity of their ministry in minutes of their meeting. This morning they were in Ringwood. It was a great meeting, accentuated by their contribution and the movement of the Holy Spirit. Undeniable.

Revelation 19:5 (MSG)
5 From the Throne came a shout, a command: Praise our God, all you his servants, All you who fear him, small and great!

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Caring for Others

This becomes a natural outcome of a life in Christ. Out of the overflowing heart where Jesus dwells, concern for others is a joy. The joy is found in the satisfaction that the caring act is service to God.

How could we serve the Creator? In itself it's almost unfathomable. We do, however, become His hands, arms, feet etc... How does God show that He cares to the world today? Through His children...us. Enjoy the responsibility.

Psalms 2:11 (NIV)
11 Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Fairness

Fairness is a quality most of us aspire to protect. There are many ways that a balance in life can be measured. It takes a fair amount of wisdom to make everything fair.

Much of our society is based on equality and fairness. Often the biggest complaint of the public against a public decision is when it's perceived to be unfair. Even people unaffected by a situation will go to the extreme to stand up for fairness.

I suppose that's fair. Is everyone happy?

Amos 5:24 (MSG)
24 Do you know what I want? I want justice—oceans of it. I want fairness—rivers of it. That's what I want. That's all I want.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

5 in 5

It's a vision of the Western Victoria Division here in the Australia Southern Territory. Check with them as to what it is. I'm impressed and grateful to God for this great approach to winning the world for Jesus. Hallelujah!

We've spent the day here with Commissioners Pobjie. It's been worthwhile and enjoyable. God is moving in this place.

Philippians 1:27 (MSG)
27 Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people's trust in the Message, the good news,

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Bushfire Thank yous

We met with a number of donors tonight to say thank you for their great support in the bushfire relief and recovery. Australia is blessed with many people who have generous hearts when they see a real need with a real way to help. I'm proud they chose to express that confidence in TSA. The work continues at 12 sites throughout the area.

Did you know that people are still coming in for help for the first time? They've been staying at relatives' homes and are attempting to take first steps to get to a new normal. God help them.

1 Chronicles 16:8 (NIV)
8 Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Loving God

Loving God is an everyday joy. Much more than a one day a week relationship, God assures us that He is with us constantly and we need not fear being alone. He is prepared to lead us if we will pay attention to Him by His Spirit or by His Word.

Take His hand. It is scarred for you and me. It shows His love beyond the shadow of a doubt. They are nail scars where He was nailed to a cross in our place. Feel the warmth, the compassion, the hope.

I'm writing from personal experience. Why not make it your experience?

Isaiah 53:5 (MSG)
5 But it was our sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins! He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Whitehorse Red Shield Appeal Launch

Throughout the next few weeks we'll be seeing Red Shield Appeal Launches all over the country. This is a very important opportunity for everyone to lend a hand in the effort to help our neighbours. You might be amazed just who is coming to the door of the Salvos for help these days. The economic climate is increasing the need for our services.

Thank you for helping with the Appeal. Many of the people who read this will be helping to collect for the appeal. All of us can contribute. Thank you for what you're able to do.

Matthew 22:39 (NIV)
39 And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Mother's Day

I have a terrific mother. She's an encourager, a great spirit, and enjoys life. As a child, she led me to the Lord. I was convinced of the veracity of the good news because she and my father demonstrated God's love for me to recognise.

Through the years, my mother has made me proud. She has shown me practical ways to care for people as she endured many pains and serious concerns that immobilise many others. I measured these same qualities when Carolyn came into my life.

I'm grateful to God for my mother and that we have a close relationship. It turns out that she even reads blogs.

Luke 2:19 (MSG)
19 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Praying for the Lost

Let our concern not be so much for our point of view, but let it be for those who are lost and without the light of God. They're all around us. We don't have to go far to meet them. Let our witness not be off-putting, but let there be an expression of love in our words.

In English, love can be greatly misunderstood. Here, the understanding of love carries respect. It is not a patronising passive quality. It is much deeper.

1 Corinthians 13:1 (MSG)
1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Knowing God

It's quite difficult to know the truth about God without knowing God. Our relationship with Him is what validates our understanding. An attempt to search the riches of His grace without faith is like thinking you know how to fly from observing a plane from the ground.

As you read this today, trust God and read His Word with belief. Doubt will become your enemy and your greatest distraction. You'll discover that faith in God is the most rational response to His love.

He's ready for you.

1 Thessalonians 1:8 (MSG)
8 The word has gotten around. Your lives are echoing the Master's Word, not only in the provinces but all over the place. The news of your faith in God is out. We don't even have to say anything anymore—you're the message!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Composite

The whole of the territory is fantastic. All that is happening around us in the name of Jesus is thrilling and compelling. Often people have a hard time seeing the evidence of God in people's lives. We see it everyday in TSA.

Some people look to God like Santa Claus. I think I understand why, but it's not who God is. Some think that God is simply waiting to say yes to everything we want and to somehow protect us from harm or ill because we love Him and He loves us. Generally, a parent understands the difference, but the child doesn't. The child cries when he doesn't get his way or things turn out different than what he wants. The parent responds with love and understanding. So does God.

1 John 2:2 (MSG)
2 When he served as a sacrifice for our sins, he solved the sin problem for good—not only ours, but the whole world's.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Important Decisions

There are many important decisions that we are asked to make in our life. We need to take the time to sort out the questions and weigh the significance. For some, we are able to make a good choice based on past experience or bonafide assessment of the potential outcomes.

Sometimes it helps to take a position on both sides of the problem and contemplate the positive possibilities of either direction. A leader must make these decisions with conviction and defensible reason.

Making an important decision today? Seek the Lord. He knows which way you should go.

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.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

God is amazing

God continues to amaze us. His love transcends all time and space to reach us and to draw us toward His perfect will for our lives. He leads us towards healing. He urges us toward reconciliation. He warms us toward peace and understanding. He reveals truth and shoulders our sin. He seeks our best and knows exactly what's right for us.

He's totally dependable. He will never let you down. He is love. He is the way. He is the truth. He is the life. Bring it all to God. he is amazing.

Isaiah 61:3 (MSG)
3 To care for the needs of all who mourn in Zion, give them bouquets of roses instead of ashes, Messages of joy instead of news of doom, a praising heart instead of a languid spirit. Rename them "Oaks of Righteousness" planted by God to display his glory.

Monday, 4 May 2009

International Zonal Secretary

Commissioners Barry and Raemor Pobjie are conducting a territorial review this week in Melbourne. We have prepared many materials and data for the occasion. When you do this, you see the absolute glory of God. You see how He loves us and provides for us. You see how faithful people are serving God throughout the territory.

It's a wonderful experience and one that we might not do if it were not for the required review. We will look at quantifiable evidence and listen to anecdotal proof of how God's work is led by Him, supported by Him and guaranteed by Him. Hallelujah!

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

Sunday, 3 May 2009

EVD DC Installation

Carolyn and I participated in the installation of Lt. Colonel Jocelyn Knapp as the Divisional Commander and Major Cilla Bone as the Divisional Women's Ministry Secretary of the Eastern Victoria Division. The meeting was held tonight at the Camberwell Corps and it was a great occasion.

The EVD has been under the leadership of Majors Ron and Robyn Clinch, who are now Lt. Colonels and appointed to the Philippines. We wish them well in their journey and trust that God will continue to anoint them and their ministry.

Hallelujah!

Isaiah 55:1 (MSG)
1 "Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money—everything's free!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

The Classics

Both the Melbourne Staff Songsters and the Melbourne Veterans' Band offered classic music tonight at their concert at the great Ringwood Corps. We really enjoyed the friendliness of the programme and excellent music performed by terrific people. We were blessed to be there.

Music speaks to my soul. The Spirit has always found my heart open with a song. Tonight was no exception. I'm glad. Thank you, Lord.

Isaiah 30:29 (MSG)
29 But you will sing, sing through an all-night holy feast! Your hearts will burst with song, make music like the sound of flutes on parade, En route to the mountain of God, on the way to the Rock of Israel.

Friday, 1 May 2009

Fellowship of believers

One of the great parts about being a Christian is the fellowship of believers. In case that's a phrase that is only clear to the soundly saved, the fellowship of the believers represents the relationships that followers of Jesus enjoy. In the context of living like Jesus and as He taught, we have so much in common and can trust each other, even though we might not know each other very well.

It's the way God designed us. he hopes that every person on the planet would embrace His love and His people where we can share our joys and heartbreaks wholesomely and without fear. I love getting together with other believers. It's a good plan.

1 John 2:14 (MSG)
14 You veterans know the One who started it all; and you newcomers—such vitality and strength! God's word is so steady in you. Your fellowship with God enables you to gain a victory over the Evil One.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

Hunger By the Numbers

In the United States in 2007:

37.3 million people (12.5%) were in poverty.
13.3 million children under the age of 18 (18%) were in poverty.
3.6 million seniors ages 65 and older (9.7%) were in poverty.
36.2 million Americans (23.8 million adults and 12.4 million children) lived in food-insecure households.
3.9 million of all U.S. households (3.4%) accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times.
Source: Feeding America (feedingamerica.org/faces-of-hunger/hunger-101/hunger-and-poverty-statistics.aspx) Also from Christianity Today

2 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV)
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Ready for Work

How do you know if you're ready for work? Have you the proper training? Is your experience commensurate with your requirements? Are you physically prepared? Are your emotions in balance? Are your hopes consistent with the job before you?

For many things in life, I've discovered that I'll never be ready. If I wait for the perfect moment, I may very well miss the opportunity.

Regrettably, for most of us, ready comes before set and go. If we never get past ready, we'll never be set to go. Here's where Nike philosophy is helpful: "just do it."

1 John 3:3 (MSG)
3 All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus' life as a model for our own. it."

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Re-alignment

Even the best plans can require adjustments as you go along. Persistence in a plan is generally good, but there are times that a fresh perspective is helpful. We need to clarify and define our plans in such a way that we will know when a re-alignment is necessary. When we wait too long to give this consideration, we risk unretractable failure.

We need to measure our success, pay attention, and be ready to make adjustments. Success in our endeavors is rarely automatic. God deserves our best attention and strategic plans. Hallelujah!

Hebrews 4:11 (MSG)
11 So let's keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.

Monday, 27 April 2009

True Colours

How about the expression, true colours? When a person is put into a difficult situation, we sometimes remark that we've seen their true colours. It must relate to a reality that many people are masked, at least partially. At the point of tension, one's mask is difficult to maintain and the truth is revealed. Generally, the true colours are different than their mask.

Wearing a mask? What are your true colours? The Bible says that God made you for truth and rightness. It might actually be that you have yet to recognise your true colours, that is the truth of why you're here. Seeking God will bring you closer to your true colours.

Psalm 15:2 (NIV)
2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Anniversaries

In the remembering of a day every year, we highlight the significance of the event itself. If the annual event is a birthday, the person and the family are celebrated often with gifts and all. A wedding anniversary can be very positive as well.

There are anniversaries of difficult days too. These days can bring sorrow or even depression. In some ways, this is not altogether bad as we need to recollect certain losses or calamities in our lives to give us perspective.

Whichever type of anniversary you will be facing this week or so, make the best of it and share in the constructive journey of your life.

Leviticus 23:44 (MSG)
44 Moses posted the calendar for the annual appointed feasts of God which Israel was to celebrate.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

ANZAC Day

Anzac Day runs deeper than nationalism or military pride, The Weekend Australian says in its editorial on Saturday.

Today's Anzacs are defending our nation against global terrorism with all the distinction of their forerunners who scaled the Gallipoli cliffs 94 years ago, and stopped the Japanese at Milne Bay in 1942.

The nation also honour our 102,000 war dead, including 61,000 in World War I, 39,000 in World War II, 340 in Korea, 521 in Vietnam and smaller numbers in other conflicts.

Anzac Day honours those who sacrificed all to allow Australians to live in peace. the newspaper says.

"It acknowledges our prisoners of war, and the debilitating wounds endured by thousands of survivors, and the loneliness and suffering of families whose loved ones were lost or maimed.

"A sombre, reflective commemoration of past campaigns, it has evolved to embrace new generations, renewing itself at the grassroots, and ensuring the fallen live on in the national pantheon...

"Australians need Anzac Day. Our mateship, gleaned from the early Diggers, makes it vital to salute our armed forces, past and present, for their brave service, loyalty and sacrifice. Lest we forget."

(This is copied from NZTV.com.nz)

Deuteronomy 32:7 (NIV)
7 Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Bless the Lord

What would you do with a programme that has linked 908 families in one year with the corps? How about 20 new soldiers as a result? $182,318.04 was raised and given for projects local and international. Both the membership and attendance statistics are increasing.

Is it possible? Sure. It's called Women's Ministries. Considering their ministry, I'm proud to be a Salvo.

Luke 24:1 (NIV)
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

sstv

Salvo Studios TV launched tonight with a live internet feed of the Revolution Youth Camp in South Australia. I watched it with the Cabinet of Territorial Headquarters and as you have guessed, I'm impressed and blessed. Hallelujah!

Now I know that we have produced simulcasts before as have others. We are now in a position to make that process much easier and way less expensive. I think it's a new day. The great distances in this territory just got closer. I'm expecting that people from all across the territory and outside of Australia have been online with me in the process.

Psalm 46:4 (NIV)
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Margaret Jackson

The ANZ Bank celebrated the service of Margaret Jackson as a member of their board last night. It was at this occasion that she retired from that particular role. If you listen to her accomplishments, you will know the historic facts of her leadership and influence upon Australian life and business.

Even more convincing were the many incredible people in attendance at this retirement program. Their presence speaks to Margaret's extraordinary character and attractive spirit.

In the past two years she has chaired our capital campaign for two major property projects in Melbourne. We salute Margaret on the successful accomplishment of 15 years of service on the ANZ Bank board.

1 Thessalonians 5:13 (MSG)
13 Overwhelm them with appreciation and love! Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Cliff Breeze

As a leader of The Salvation Army in Australia, it has been my distinct privilege and honour to meet and value Cliff Breeze. He has been a leading force in our Red Shield appeal for over 16 years and has been an active member of The Salvation Army Advisory Board for more than 15 years.

At each meeting, he would appear with his famous smile and positive demeanour that we all found encouraging. He demonstrated a grace of character in the process of the agenda, especially when he found it necessary to ask the hard questions, that need to be asked these critical meetings.

Before he moved quickly to another commitment on that same day, he always made sure to give that affirming word to assure us we were on the right track and that he was with us.

I’m given to understand that in a single-handed manner, established the property committee of our Advisory Board. As Lt. Colonel Brian Hood tells it, not only did Cliff organise the group, he personally recruited each member including the chairman. Once set up, Cliff moved on to the next opportunity.

Perhaps that is where we will find Cliff today. Finished with his frame, which served him well all these years, he has moved on to the next opportunity … heaven.

Once there, he would be in the healthy company of many loved ones who have gone on before. The Bible teaches that Jesus has prepared a place for all of us there.

Psalm 1:3 "He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers."

Monday, 20 April 2009

Kowloon Central Corps


We worshipped God here at the Kowloon Central Corps in Hong Kong. After the photo was taken, all seats were filled. This is a corps that expects visitors. We were greeted at the door with English materials including an English copy programme. Next we were asked if we wanted to use their translation headsets. The meeting was primarily in Mandarin, but materials and simultaneous translation was available in both Cantonese and English. They're showing us the right way here.

Carolyn and I were blessed to be in their company. Hallelujah!

1 John 3:3 (MSG)
3 All of us who look forward to his Coming stay ready, with the glistening purity of Jesus' life as a model for our own.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Building Korean SA



The photo is of the Korean TC and TPWM with principal agents in the construction of an extraordinary SA facility in Seoul. They are stepping out in faith and God will honour them as a result.

I see the Korea Territory in the same light. They are stepping out in deep faith for the growth of the Kingdom of God in Korea. he is answering their faith with great supply for their objectives. Note that their objectives are His objectives.

Philippians 3:18 (MSG)
18 There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I've warned you of them many times; sadly, I'm having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ's Cross.

Friday, 17 April 2009

More Korea Visit



This is the exterior of the Kwachun Corps. The Army is quite advanced in Korea as this structure reveals.



These are the Cadets and Staff of the Korean Officers Training College. They are a beautifully commited group with great hope to win the world for Jesus.

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

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Korean Visit


This is the Korea First Corps on Easter Sunday. It's a very large corps with a beautiful spirit. On this morning the Hallelujah Songsters presented an Easter Cantata to the glory of God.


This is an inadequate photo of the Korean Territorial Women's Conference. There were over 1,000 in attendance. The two days with them was filled with the joy of Jesus.


2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)
8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter

Luke 24:5-6 (NIV)
5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?
6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee:

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Special Sabbath

John 19:31-37 (NIV)
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.
32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.
33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.
35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.
36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken,"
37 and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."

Friday, 10 April 2009

Good Friday

John 19:18 (NIV)
18 Here they crucified him, and with him two others--one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Maundy Thursday

This is a great day in the celebration of the believers.

Thank you Jesus for loving us so much and for teaching us how to live right lives. We worship you today in spirit and in truth. You are the way, the truth, and the life. Thank you for being the way to the Father. Thank you for the resurrection and the life.

John 16:20 (NIV)
20 I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Spiritual Day

It's really a good concept, setting aside a special day for spiritual renewal. The community or fellowship understands the importance of the day and give it particular attention in order to meet with God.

So what about Sunday? At the Training College, a week day is chosen so as to transform a "regular" day to being marked by this holy ambition. It has merit. Is there an application for the rest of us? There could be. Maybe you might take a personal day from work to have a spiritual day where you totally focus on the Lord, purposely limiting any and all distractions. I think it would be worth it. Why not do it with a couple of friends?

2 Peter 1:5 (MSG)
5 So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding,

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Predictability

One of the enduring aspects of traditionalism is predictability. It's precisely this part of change that will annoy a conservative who finds it so painful to adjust to new things. Predictability can bring comfort to those whose elasticity in life is stretched to its limits or whose energy is beginning to wane. In itself I don't see it as a problem.

The difficulty emerges when it becomes a dominant force on the journey. It means we have traveled this way before or that the perspective is so similar that we recognise the position. Some things in life will always be predictable. When it dominates our lives, we aren't moving forward.

Joel 3:9 (MSG)
9 Announce this to the godless nations: Prepare for battle! Soldiers at attention! Present arms! Advance!

Monday, 6 April 2009

OWSOMS

The acronym above stands for One Weeks Salary On Missionary Service. This represents our practise of giving one weeks salary for the support of Salvation Army overseas service. We have been learning throughout the Lenten Season via DVD infomercials of the continuing needs of those who are serving in what we used to call missionary service. The needs relate more specifically to those with whom our people are working and serving.

Carolyn and I participated with many friends at our home corps in the ingathering on Palm Sunday. It was thrilling to see the strong support of so many to help so many people they don't know. They only know that they need help and that the help will be given as a result of their giving. Hallelujah!

Colossians 1:27 (MSG)
27 God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, therefore you can look forward to sharing in God's glory. It's that simple. That is the substance of our Message.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Palm Sunday

Mark 11:9 (NIV)
9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Always connected

Most everyone who reads this will have had connection complications at one time or another. I haven't had this problem in a while, but when it does happen it can be a real pain. Right in the middle of something important or after you've filled out a lengthy form that will now need to be redone there can be a disconnect.

Today I'm celebrating a good connection with the Lord. In some seasons in life, it's easy to feel that we've disconnected from Him and despair about a failing relationship. Be reminded that He never disconnects. His pursuit of our love is everlasting and ever present. He is with you, even if you don't feel His presence. Hallelujah!

Hebrews 13:5 (MSG)
5 Don't be obsessed with getting more material things. Be relaxed with what you have. Since God assured us, "I'll never let you down, never walk off and leave you,"

Friday, 3 April 2009

Welcome Home

For the first time in many years, all major THQ Departments are under one roof. Public Relations, Planned Giving and Audit have finally moved into our Blackburn building. It will become apparent how valuable it will be to be working side by side, sharing in weekly devotions, coffee breaks and lunch time. I believe it will unite us better and afford a solidarity we have been missing.

Welcome, friends to the office. We've been missing you and will be much better off together.

Jude 1:2 (MSG)
2 Relax, everything's going to be all right; rest, everything's coming together; open your hearts, love is on the way!

Thursday, 2 April 2009

God has a way

No matter the complication, problem or issue, God has a way through. He leads in brilliance through the darkest possible corridors of our lives and will satisfy our deepest need for clarity, purpose and possibility.

God has a way. You can rely upon Him and gain His perspective with only a little faith. Remember the passage in Scripture that talks about moving mountains? You also will recall that it only takes faith the size of a mustard seed.

Give Him a try. Trust Him. Look to Him and believe. The way forward will become apparent. Oh yeah, then you'll need to do something like follow His lead.

John 14:6 (NIV)
6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Red Shield Defence Service


In the Book titled “The Strength of a Nation” by Michael McKernan you'll find the first instance of the what we know now as the RSDS Mobile Hop In. It was the 3rd May 1941 at Mersa Matruh Egypt, 290 Klm west of Alexandria. The 2/14th of course was the Infantry Battalion Mud & Blood. Working with the Battalion was Albert Moore, Salvation Army welfare officer, but wondering what more he could do.

On 29th March he had opened a ‘Hop In’ hut and there was a party on the first night. Albert had cut some tomato sandwiches and served hot tea and biscuits. Mud & Blood was the 2/23rd’s response to the isolation of the battalion; Albert Moore came up with a new plan of his own because he realised he was not doing the job that was needed, and this made him feel ‘wretched, tired and disconsolate’.

If the men could not come to him, he would have to go to them by establishing a mobile canteen. A moving ‘Hop In’, if you like. Armed with a truck, Albert went to Alexandria to buy his supplies: a primus stove, a couple of urns, and lots more.

On 3 May 1941 Albert Moore, welfare officer, started his first battalion coffee run. He was out along the lines from 7.45pm to 10pm ‘and were the men thrilled. A hot cup of coffee and a slice of cake, and they were all loud in their praise’. And why not? The cold of the desert at night, the boredom, the monotony of their food and drink. And here comes Albert, cheerful, a hot drink for all, and a bit of news, real news of other blokes along the line, what was happening at Tobruk, what he knew of the world war and what else was happening around the place.

‘Perspiration rolled off’, Albert wrote, but he served at least 200 cups of coffee that first night. Three nights later Albert served 18 gallons of coffee and 16 pounds of cake—nearly 400 cups of coffee. The battalion truck was no good, Albert soon realised, and by 16 May he was back in Alexandria to buy a station wagon that would be much better for the work. He found one for 300 pounds, knocked the price down by 10 pounds, and also bought a radio for 28 pounds, another 10 pounds knocked off. ‘The bus was lovely to drive’, Albert reported to his diary. He named the station wagon, a Willys, ‘Vikel’, remembering his wife and son—Vi and Kelvin –back home in Melbourne.

Doing whatever it takes; This is our Heritage. Let's make it our Goal too.

This historic account was taken from the RSDS newsletter.

Colossians 3:17 (MSG)
17 Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Have a Chat

Having a difficult time with someone? Why not just have a chat? Often, the reason for the estrangement is a matter of misunderstanding and lack of clear communication, so, have a chat.

What's to lose by just speaking with each other? Too embarrassed by a failure in the relationship? Who's not human and besides, perfection is way over rated.

Make a time. Have an open chat and see where it takes you.

Colossians 4:6 (MSG)
6 Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Redcliffe City Corps, Queensland

Led by our friends, Lt. Colonels Brian and Elaine Hood, the Redcliffe City Corps is a beautiful expression of TSA. The meeting tonight was their youth meeting, filled with energy and creativity, all to the glory of God. I was glad to be there.

All over Australia the Lord is moving in wonderful ways. God is connecting with us powerfully and with great hope. Hallelujah!

Ephesians 4:30 (MSG)
30 Don't grieve God. Don't break his heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for himself. Don't take such a gift for granted.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Arthur Gullidge Centenary Festival

Great programme tonight at Waverley Temple. John Cleary as compere was terrific. The MSB and the Melbourne Veterans' Band both in good form. The Waverley Brass Quartette and soloists Brian Davies (Jubilate) and Heather Clarke (I Know a Fount).

Altogether the filled house was blessed with Gullidges passionate music and rhythmic marches. You remember he perished as a prisoner of war at the age of 33. His over 200 works in brass and vocal are amazing since his first published piece came at the age of 17. According to my calculations, that's almost 15 pieces per year.

We were drawn to God in the programme...like Divine Communion.

1 John 1:3 (MSG)
3 We saw it, we heard it, and now we're telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Partnerships

For many years TSA has developed with a strong intention to own and control our mission and practise. This has served us quite well. Now that we are firmly established around the globe, and in a post modern culture, we can afford to consider partnerships more than we have in the past.

Yes, we have had good partnerships that have worked fine. I'm suggesting intentional connections that will allow us to leverage our strengths and maximise our effectiveness. Even with other churches, we will only win the world for Jesus together. We have some great partners in Australia.

James 2:22 (MSG)
22 Isn't it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works? That the works are "works of faith"?

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Mission Objectives

Boiling down our priorities in measurable terms, how about this for a corps centre?
- people in worship this week
- people helped (cup of cold water)
- members made (soldiers and adherents)
- people saved

And for social programmes...
- people helped
- people counseled and/or in worship
- people drawn to corps fellowship
- people saved

We measure what's important and are accountable. By this we demonstrate the presence of God.

Revelation 3:19 (MSG)
19 "The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they'll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Think Tank

Tonight provided the opportunity for another think tank with corporate leaders in Melbourne. Major David Eldridge again brings his expertise to the table that allows us to engage in high level thinking with solution oriented possibilities.

The subject was about pathways out of disadvantage and homelessness. There are more than 100,000 people across Australia who are homeless and, on any one night, this includes more than 26,000 people aged between 12 and 18. The average age of these homeless young people is 15.6 years and more than half are girls.

Great discussion and solutions offered for us to consider from terrific contributors to our movement.

Hebrews 9:26 (MSG)
26 if that had been the case, he would have to sacrifice himself repeatedly throughout the course of history. But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Retirement

I support the practical approach to retirement for SA officers. Following years of active, unceasing service, a person can take time to do things and enjoy their journey at their own pace and volition. Officership itself does not discontinue. The role and ordination of the individual remains as does the commitment to God. Many retired officers are invigorated by this time in their life and I salute them.

Around the world TSA attempts to appropriately provide for their retired officers. It is not possible everywhere. As a result, there is a fund to better support these servants in a more consistent manner and to the level they need to live. You can contact your corps officer to help as God leads you. Some, with conviction, arrange for payroll deduction to help the cause. The retired officers I'm writing about are living in difficult circumstances often known as poverty.

Matthew 25:21 (NIV)
21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'

Monday, 23 March 2009

Information Age Prayer

"Information Age Prayer is a subscription service utilizing a computer with text-to-speech capability to incant your prayers each day. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that your prayers will always be said even if you wake up late, or forget.

We use state of the art text to speech synthesizers to voice each prayer at a volume and speed equivalent to typical person praying. Each prayer is voiced individually, with the name of the subscriber displayed on screen.

At Information Age Prayer we think our service should be used like a prayer supplement, to extend and strengthen a subscriber's connection with God. Traditional prayer is an integral part of this connection and should never be forgone, even after signing up.

You can subscribe for yourself, or you can purchase a subscription as a gift to friends or family.

Promotional Rates for New Users, Limited Time Only!
Choose a Religion from the left menu."

I know a better way to connect with God. Directly.

2 Corinthians 3:16 (NIV)
16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Wyndham City Corps

The newer facilities of the Wyndham City Corps in the Melbourne Central Division were dedicated today. The Mayor and many Council members were present as was a full house of members and friends of the corps.

Captains Judy and Kevin Lumb are the corps officers and Majors Jenny and Rodney Barnard are the divisional leaders. It has taken good leadership and coordination to bring the corps where it is today. This is God's doing. The corps is following God in these new facility plans.

Thank you to all who have made it an exceptional day. Now we can expect even more amazing things.

Joshua 3:5 (NIV)
5 Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you."

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Cultural Christian

According to Wikipedia, "Cultural Christian is a broad term used to distinguish people with either ethnic or religious Christian heritage from those who are active members of the Christian faith. The distinction is necessary because unlike many religions such as Islam most Christian groups do not believe Christianity is something one can be born into but must convert to later in life. As such, the majority of the population of the Western hemisphere could broadly be described as cultural Christians."

When we speak of winning the world for Jesus, we mean a personal relationship with God through Jesus. God's personal love is way better than simply being a cultural christian. Talk to a Salvationist. They'll help you.

1 John 2:13 (MSG)
13 You veterans were in on the ground floor, and know the One who started all this; you newcomers have won a big victory over the Evil One. And a second reminder, dear children: You know the Father from personal experience.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Bushfire Workers

We still have Salvos working in the bushfire areas with victims and other workers. Some have been connected in this work since the first day of the catastrophic fires. As of the latest count, there were 210 deaths, over 2000 homes destroyed and over 7000 people displaced. In addition, many businesses were also decimated by the fires and by the resultant lack of business as usual.

Our workers continue to counsel, support and assist on a daily basis at a number of sites throughout the areas affected. I'm grateful to each who have been serving the Lord in this way. There's still much to do and people to help. We'll stay as long as we're needed.

1 Corinthians 16:16 (MSG)
16 honor and look up to people like that: companions and workers who show us how to do it, giving us something to aspire to.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Support

Devine Homes, Ltd. visited the office today with a greatly appreciated donation. They sold one of their houses to support homelessness and gave a portion of the sale directly to us for our use. We depend upon support like this for our every day service and ministry to people of all walks of life. We're able to transition these resources into dedicated expressions of care and help. People who are lost, lonely, left behind and victimised are subsequently supported in constructive ways.

We do this to the honour of God. His love for us compels us to love others in this way. We do this with the good support of many people and corporations. Thank you, Devine. Thank you, Lord.

3 John 1:8 (MSG)
8 So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Workplace Spiritual Formation

Considering that a full time worker generally spends more time at work than any other place awake, it can be unfortunate that a person potentially disconnects from their faith during this time. I'd like to suggest that there are ways in which one can connect with God throughout the day to the point at which one can actually enjoy spiritual formation in the process.

It has to do with one's desire to do so and a capacity to consider spiritual growth options in your unique environment. Our minds have the ability to consider a plethora of ideas in just a few minutes. Between emails we can think about our chores, families and what's on the television tonight. There are ways then, that we can focus on God even without distracting us from our work. It can lead to a spiritually invigorating experience even in the midst of a mundane day.

Jeremiah 46:4 (MSG)
4 Harness the horses! Up in the saddles! Battle formation! Helmets on, spears sharpened, armor in place!'

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Being Right

This isn't a political reference. I'm thinking about the times when being right means someone else is very wrong. There are times when a person might celebrate being right and there are times when the outcomes for others is painful. Just maybe, we could keep our rightness to ourselves so as to not to seem to take any pleasure in the resultant difficulty for another.

As followers of Jesus, we can be informed by Him, when on the cross, He said, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Being right to Him in light of the sin around Him, only brought Him pain. The pain of a horrible death.

Let us aim to be right, without condemning those who are wrong.

John 3:17 (NIV)
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Sorting It Out

Sometimes when we have been engaged in a project or a system, we come to the point that we need to sort it out. That is, stepping back, reviewing the issues, re-prioritising, organising in such a way as to move in a constructive, measurable direction, and then taking the steps.

I do this every once in a while with my work, my family and my life. It becomes an important process to me and gives fresh impetus to serve the Lord with excellence, energy and great hope.

Matthew 25:32 (MSG)
32 Then all the nations will be arranged before him and he will sort the people out, much as a shepherd sorts out sheep and goats,

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Moving Forward

The Australia Southern Territory is moving forward. The progress is not in contrast to any other territory or even denomination. It is a positive statement of fact. People are being saved, helped, encouraged. We're seeing transformed lives, cared for people, disciples are being made, and the society is being reformed. Sound familiar? They're our mission imperatives and a decent measuring line by which to evaluate our mission effectiveness. My conclusion is that we're moving forward.

Is every corps growing in numbers? Is the number of people being helped increasing at every centre? Is every mission centre fully focused on our mission? No, but there are more people altogether who are being Salvationists and following the leading of an inspiring God with every hope of proving His love in abundance...advancing forward.

Matthew 11:12 (NIV)
12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Lift Conversations

Have you ever had this conversation in a lift (elevator)?

"Beautiful day, isn't it?" "Yeah, but we really need the rain."

Or how about this one, on the next day...

"Sure glad it's raining out, we really need it." "Yeah, but too much will contaminate the water supply."

You know, you try to have a casual, pleasant conversation that will last until you get to your floor. Is pleasant agreement too much to ask for?

What do you expect from a friendly conversation? Beware, you may get more than you asked for. Sometimes on a blog, the simplest of comments can create the most complex responses. Turns out, we're not as predictable as we may seem.

However, when you come to God with hope in Him, He always will respond with love. You can depend upon Him every time.

Isaiah 26:4 (MSG)
4 Depend on God and keep at it because in the Lord God you have a sure thing.

Friday, 13 March 2009

God Given Talent

We've encountered beautiful people with extraordinary talent all over Australia. You don't have to go far or look very far as the talent is obvious. Some of the structures in Melbourne and around are amazing, as are the gardens, and the artwork, and the musicians, etc...

The Bible reminds us that every good gift comes from the Lord. There are people all around us who have astounding abilities,proving how God is generous with His gifts. These same gifts are intended for us to enjoy. We need to value the God given talents that make up our world, and thank Him.

James 1:17 (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Terrific Torquay

This is a community I'd find it easy to live in. It's right on the ocean, is reasonable size and has much to offer. One of the great things it offers is The Salvation Army. I stopped in unannounced today for a visit and a prayer. Captain Phil Abrams was on the job, as was Justine and most likely Catherine, although offsite.

Unflapped by my visit, the short time there was an inspiration to me, as both Justine and Phil were alive, encouraging, and welcoming. I would attend this corps and join in on the fun there. Hallelujah!

Acts 15:3 (MSG)
3 After they were sent off and on their way, they told everyone they met as they traveled through Phoenicia and Samaria about the breakthrough to the Gentile outsiders. Everyone who heard the news cheered—it was terrific news!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Speaking for the Army

When we as Salvos speak publicly, on most any subject, we can be understood as speaking on behalf of TSA. When we express a strong opinion, we give others the right to question if that is the position of TSA.

On this basis we need to be cautious, know the perspective of TSA and not get carried away with what we're saying.

Recently, a few articles have appeared in the media that cite SA sources. The reports are absolutely untrue and ultimately put us in a negative light. This is most unfortunate. We would expect for the news to verify their facts, but that expectation seems to be too onerous for a few news outlets. Selling papers must be challenging for them to make up reports. On the other hand, is there someone misrepresenting our positions as fact? Either way, it's distracting from our mission and wrong.

2 John 1:4 (MSG)
4 I can't tell you how happy I am to learn that many members of your congregation are diligent in living out the Truth, exactly as commanded by the Father.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Moomba Festival

Moomba is an annual festival in Melbourne, and one of the largest and longest running festivals in Australia. Moomba is celebrated during the Labour Day long weekend (over four days, from Friday to the second Monday in March), and has been celebrated since 1955. In 2003, the event was renamed Melbourne Moomba Waterfest. It is a family festival run by the City of Melbourne Council.

In 1951, Australia celebrated fifty years of Federation with a parade and the staging of the theatre production "An Aboriginal Moomba: Out of the Dark". The following year, the final Labour Day procession was held in Melbourne. In 1954, Queen Elizabeth II visited the city in her first appearance as reigning monarch and the City Development Association and the Melbourne City Council proposed the Moomba Festival. The first festival was officially opened in 1955. (Thanks to Wikipedia)

The official translation is "let's get together and have fun."

Well, true or not, people were getting together and having fun this weekend in Melbourne. Sounds like a good idea.

Matthew 18:19 (MSG)
19 When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Australia

What a country! This is a fantastic place to live and work. Do we really recognise it? Sometimes we're hard on ourselves and are quick to see our failures and weaknesses. Let's resist the temptation to take such a great country for granted.

We have the freedom to worship as we choose. We can live our dreams. We can even go on walk-about. The people are friendly and we have all the conveniences one could want. Do you like the ocean front? This is the place for you. Most coastline I've seen is reserved for the public and not dominated by hotels, private dwellings or commercial establishments.

I like it.

Isaiah 58:11 (NIV)
11 The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.

Friday, 6 March 2009

The Bible

There's no better book than the Bible. You can learn about God's unconditional love and the movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of people like ourselves. It is a sacred text inspired by God, reliable from cover to cover.

Psalm 119:91 (MSG)
91 Your Word and truth are dependable as ever; that's what you ordered—you set the earth going.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

World Day of Prayer

The World Day of Prayer movement is a great idea led by the women of the church. The programme this year is from the context of Papua New Guinea and is a beautiful expression of relationship in God. The unity expressed by this solidarity honours God and strengthens our faith. Hallelujah!

I encourage you to participate in one of these celebrations. They're not only for women. We thoroughly enjoyed the meeting today at THQ. Thank you, Lt. Colonel Jenny Walker for your ministry.

Acts 10:2 (MSG)
2 He was a thoroughly good man. He had led everyone in his house to live worshipfully before God, was always helping people in need, and had the habit of prayer.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Business as Usual

Business as usual is a place I generally am uncomfortable. This makes for status quo and maintenance. Somehow, I've always looked for more. When we consider the gospel and our faith in God, I feel quite the same. I believe that God has more for us than we're realising. I expect that He wants us to increase our faith and hope to scale new dimensions of grace.

Down deep, this is not about me. It's about God, who is larger than our greatest imagination with provision for immense outcomes and unlimited love. When He brings change in our lives, he desires a changed world. When he plants hope in your heart, He's moving toward hope for all. His love has no limits. His grace has no measure. When we think of Him, we cannot think about business as usual.

Ezekiel 7:2 (MSG)
2 "You, son of man—God, the Master, has this Message for the land of Israel: " 'Endtime. The end of business as usual for everyone.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Connecting With God

This was the theme of today's Divisional Companion Club Annual Meeting. This is organised by Major Jennifer Cloke and her capable team. The Veterans Band and Male Chorus were on duty and gave inspirational offerings. Lionel Wood gave a solo and Marianne Kamien gave her vibrant testimony.

We were supported by the Divisional Leaders, Majors Robyn and Ron Clinch, Major Graham Buckle, and Major Cilla Bone. In all, it was a great meeting and God is glorified. Great day.

Romans 8:30 (MSG)
30 After God made that decision of what his children should be like, he followed it up by calling people by name. After he called them by name, he set them on a solid basis with himself. And then, after getting them established, he stayed with them to the end, gloriously completing what he had begun.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Hillsong Church Helps

We have been the grateful recipients of the generosity of many people, groups, corporations and churches. The Hillsong Church is one of these contributors where they have given over $150,000 towards the Victoria Bushfire Relief and Recovery. We have shared our thanks through Pastor Brian Houston who conveys an authentic Christian spirit in the giving.

Other churches too like the Anglican Church of Melbourne and elsewhere have too joined in the bushfire effort. Of course my limitation here by not listing all supporting churches leaves many unrecognised. I assure you, that was never their intent for giving.

Together, we form a formidable force in the name of Jesus. Sounds like a good plan.

Philippians 1:27 (MSG)
27 Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people's trust in the Message, the good news,

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Lenten Season

Lent is the forty day season of fasting and prayer before Easter. The forty days represent the time Jesus spent in the desert, where He endured temptation by satan. The purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial—for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the death and resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

We enjoyed this first Sunday in Lent at our home corps where Major Priya Morgan gave the message quite capably. We watched the Self Denial Appeal video and were moved by the concepts of personal sacrifice by both the message and the video. Let us consider the love of Jesus, particularly through Lent and affirm our personal involvement.

Mark 8:35 (MSG)
35 Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Bushfire Support

Many people ask, what can I do for the victims of the bushfires. Here's a way to help where you even receive a benefit. The artists and songwriters on this SONY Music CD have donated their work so that the proceeds go towards the effort. Why not buy a copy or two? It'll help.





This second one is a single recorded at the National Day of Mourning Service as sung by Bruce Woodley, Claire Woodley and Carter & Carter. Click here for more information on both.


Thanks for your support.

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

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Mission

God has wonderfully called us into His service to share in the joy of winning the world for Jesus. Do we deserve it or should we expect a part? Not really, except that it's His plan.

Our salvation is intended for sharing and sharing intentionally. We don't need to wait for opportunities to present themselves. We can aggressively take advantage of the possibilities around us. Please do. Let's bring everyone with us.

John 17:25 (MSG)
25 Righteous Father, the world has never known you, But I have known you, and these disciples know That you sent me on this mission.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Sarah Riley Knaggs

Jacy and Jon Knaggs are celebrating the birth of their daughter, Sarah Riley Knaggs. Sarah is quite fortunate to be born into such a loving family. She will change their lives as their love focuses upon her and as they care for her every need. We've seen her photo and are certain that she's the most beautiful girl in the world.

What does God have in mind? Perfect love for her and from her. Her parents will show her what this means and they will fill her life with hope, fulfillment, and promise. We promise to spoil her as much as we can.

Thank you, Lord for Sarah.

Genesis 21:1 (NIV)
1 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Majors Adele and John Vale - Commited Christians

Looking for the genuine thing? John and Adele fit the bill. They are wonderful people with hearts of gold. They retired from active service this past Sunday in a public meeting at the South Barwon Corps. They represent Christ in their everyday expressions and have been consistent throughout their journey.

We are fortunate to know them and to have been influenced by them. Retirement for them will be active. I hope they'll now have the time to spoil their grandchildren, golf every day, and laugh. You can count on their witness being strong no matter where they are or what they're doing. Looking for a hero today? Look no further.

2 Peter 1:8 (MSG)
8 With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Learning

There's never a time to stop learning. As we age, we might find ourselves being a little more deliberate in what we chose to learn and who to learn from. There seems to be a fair bit of learning how not to do things or how not to be.

I'm learning more and more all he time. I especially like learning more from the Word of God. The wealth of understanding one can gain from the Word is immense and the Holy Spirit enables us in the process. So what are you learning today and from who? Consider the source of your learning to measure the validity of the lesson.

Hebrews 11:1 (MSG)
1 The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Princess Royal

Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne attended the Bushfire Memorial Service and represented Her Majesty, the Queen of Australia today. Her presence was significant and deeply appreciated.

Following the Service we were invited to the Government House Melbourne by the Governor and Mrs. Jan de Kretser for a reception. In this environment we were able to thank many people for their effective leadership and service in the Bushfire Relief and recovery work.

It continues to be an honour to represent the Lord in The Salvation Army.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (MSG)
20 We're Christ's representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God's work of making things right between them. We're speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he's already a friend with you.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

National Day of Mourning

Some 50,000 people are expected at Rod Laver Arena for the Bushfire Memorial Service, officially known as the National Day of Mourning,Together for Victoria. Organisers expect another 50,000 to be spread across five live sites in Melbourne.

"This is a wonderful way to show our mourning, to show our grief, to show our respect but also to express our thanks, our heartfelt thanks to all of those who've done so much to help rebuild in these communities," Mr Brumby said.

The ceremony will begin at 11am (AEDT) with the ringing of the Federation Bells in Birrarung Marr, followed by a welcome address by the premier.

Britain's Princess Anne will fly in to represent her mother, the Queen, at the service.

Speakers will include Governor-General Quentin Bryce, Victorian Governor David de Kretser, Murrindindi Shire Mayor Lyn Gunter, Police Chief Commissioner Christine Nixon and Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart.

The ceremony will also feature music from 15-year-old singer Annabelle Priftis (Priftis), the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and choirs from around Victoria.
(The information above has been copied from news.com.au)

Psalm 111:4 (MSG)
4 His miracles are his memorial— This God of Grace, this God of Love.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Hansie



We attended a private screening of "Hansie",the story of the life of South African cricket captain Hansie Cromje. It was worth every minute and I recommend it to you when you have the opportunity. I understand it is not in the theatres yet in Australia, but wherever you are, give it a go.

The message is powerful and worth experiencing. Feel free to take anyone with you. It's safe.

Luke 15:24 (MSG)
24 My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!' And they began to have a wonderful time.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Phase Four

When you consider the words of Jesus just before Pentecost, you might conclude that we're deep into phase four of God's plan to win the world. Acts 1:8 (NIV)
8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Phase 1 - Jerusalem; Phase 2 - Judea; Phase 3 - Samaria; Phase 4 - the ends of the earth.

Let us be faithful in sharing the love of Jesus actively and intentionally across culture and languages. It is the plan of God and precisely why He empowers us. Today, we hardly have to get on a boat or plane to reach the end of the earth.

Acts 1:8 (MSG)
8 What you'll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the world."

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Administrative Leadership Training Course

Within the leadership of Commissioner Brian Morgan, the ALTC has begun this week for the twenty-fifth session. It is the first time that all zones of TSA are represented.

The course aims to provide experienced officers from a variety of countries with an opportunity to broaden their vision and understanding of the International Salvation Army and further develop their leadership potential for present and future application. The delegates are:

Major Sangthangdula - Divisional Commander, Southern Division, India Eastern Territory
Major Verona Haughton - Secretary for Leader Development, Carribean Territory
Lt Colonel Timothy Mabaso - Secretary for Business Administration, Southern Africa Territory
Major Simon Tso - Assistant to Command Leadership, Hong Kong and Macau Command
Captain Victoria Lalac - Regional Director for Women's Ministries, Romania Region, Eastern Europe Territory

Hebrews 13:17 (MSG)
17 Be responsive to your pastoral leaders. Listen to their counsel. They are alert to the condition of your lives and work under the strict supervision of God. Contribute to the joy of their leadership, not its drudgery. Why would you want to make things harder for them?

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Victoria Bush Fires 10

As the death toll rises, hopes are threatened with despair. Our best support are our prayers on behalf of those who have lost loved ones and those who do not yet know they've lost loved ones.

let us pray for peace that passes understanding.
Let us pray for grace that comforts those who mourn.
Let us pray for healing of hearts, minds and bodies.
Let us pray for help from the agents of God.
Let us pray with our actions.
Let us pray with deep faith.
Let us pray in love.
Let us pray.

James 5:16 (NLT)
16 ... The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Victoria Bush Fires 9

In terms of rough statistics, TSA has served 4,848 adults and 1957 children with direct support. This amounts to over $2.5m in direct assistance. In addition, we have been serving meals to Whittlesea service personnel in the neighbourhood of 3,000 meals per day. You can imagine that every counseling conversation and each item of support has not been included in these statistics.

Reports today reveal that there are still 12 bushfires out of control in Victoria. They don't seem to be headed towards homes at the moment, although it only takes a little wind to change that prediction.

We remain grateful for the many workers who are helping to quell the fires and the pain.

3 John 1:8 (MSG)
8 So they deserve any support we can give them. In providing meals and a bed, we become their companions in spreading the Truth.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

Victoria Bush Fires 8

We witnessed the faithfulness of volunteers and supporters in the hundreds today by visiting Yarra Glen, Healsville, Toolangi, Yea, and Alexander, all in Victoria. Actually, we helped set up the office in Toolangi. The minute the road opened, Major Ron Clinch and company moved to take the service to the people.

At one of the sites, we arrived at the moment at which a senior couple was given the keys and official papers for ownership of a camper which they will drive to their property and begin the process of rebuilding their lives. The owner of the camper had driven it six hours to make the donation and without drama, left to make his own way back home.

Deep gratitude in the midst of near disbelief swelled in the hearts of the bushfire victims. They drove home with great hope.

There are many more stories and many of these will not be told. God is at work among the healing. Hallelujah!

Romans 12:3 (MSG)
3 I'm speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it's important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Victoria Bush Fires 7

We journeyed to Bendigo and Eaglehawk today and saw furthet evidence of these devastating fires upon the lives of Australians. Last Saturday morning in this part of the state, life was comparably normal. The weather forcast was hot and windy. It turned out to be the hotest day on record in the Melbourne area and the winds were fierce.

Between Bendigo and Eaglehawk, more than 40 homes were destroyed and lives were lost. It happened so quickly and it was hard to tell where the fire was going. It was indefensible.

Salvos have joined many other dedicated people in this area to help as best they can. It continues to be an impressive team effort. People are being helped. The pain continues.

Revelation 21:4 (MSG)
4 He'll wipe every tear from their eyes. Death is gone for good—tears gone, crying gone, pain gone—all the first order of things gone."