Saturday, 31 January 2009

Victorian Bushfire Activity

Herewith a brief report of activity to date.

The State team supported by Western Victorian Teams provided significant support at the Woodend Fires. Over 700 meals were provided over a 24 hour period.
Western Victorian teams also provided some support at the Malmsbury Fire.

Leongatha Team has provided significant support at the Mirboo North Fire initially in support of Red Cross catering teams but then taking responsibility for providing breakfast on Thursday morning for several hundred fire-fighters. Final figures yet to be received.

Bedding, toiletries and other personal items for 200 persons displaced/affected by the fires have been made available at evacuation centres at Mirboo North.

On Friday,members of the state team responded to a request to provide support at the South Morang power transformer explosion and overnight attended the fire at Endeavour Hills providing meals for in excess of 170 fire-fighters. The team will continue on site providing both breakfast and lunch at this fire.

This morning members of the state team are on route to the fire at Mirboo North where they will assume responsibility for providing lunch and an evening meal for in excess of 400 firefighters.

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, 30 January 2009

Salvo Fellowship

One of the great things about being a Salvo is the eternal fellowship to which we belong. Purely, the body of Christ is a glorious fellowship. In addition, those who step out of the regular fellowship of TSA, generally, continue to enjoy the fellowship when they want.

While I come to some frustration when our brothers and sisters go another direction, I am learning to trust God in the process. Many people come to us from other journeys as well. One of the great aspects of heaven will be the unity of all believers. Hallelujah!

John 13:35 (MSG)
35 This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other."

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Heat Wave

You think it's hot here at 45C?

Romans 6:23 (MSG)
23 Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God's gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Winning Children for Christ

The Winning Children or Christ Zonal Conference began tonight at the Geelong Conference Centre. Delegates have arrived from all over the SPEA Zone to consider the subject and make recommendations to the General. Lt. Colonel Raymond Finger is the conference organiser and leader.

I was saved as a child and have never turned back. Perfect? No, forgiven.

Truly the best opportunity to minister a person towards salvation in Christ is when they're a child. Children are more willing to exercise faith. The power of God in them holds them in grace and God is glorified.

Matthew 18:4 (MSG)
4 Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

New Faces

In the past week we experienced the general change in the territory. Any faces change near you?

If so, just know that they need your encouragement and support. Along with the move for them comes the insecurity of being the "new guy" and the one who has to ask a lot of questions from strangers. It isn't an easy thing to do.

Carolyn and I are praying for each person in the appointment changes. If that includes you, know of our gratitude for your faithfulness and for every hope that is growing in you at this new address. Hallelujah!

1 Thessalonians 3:10 (MSG)
10 We do what we can, praying away, night and day, asking for the bonus of seeing your faces again and doing what we can to help when your faith falters.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Australian Honours

As is the practice of the Australian Commonwealth Government on Australia Day, Australian Honours are announced. Today is Australia Day and one of the honours was given to Robyn Anne Hobbs. She received the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to the community as the founder of Carols in the Domain, to the Salvation Army through fundraising, and to the Anglican Church of Australia.

We celebrate this worthy honour upon Ms. Hobbs as we celebrate her support of TSA through Carols in the Domain. It's a winning combination. We all enjoy the programme and the work is advanced as a result.

2 Thessalonians 1:12 (MSG)
12 If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Western Victoria Division

Majors Winsome and Kelvin Merrett were installed today as leaders of the Western Victoria Division. The Ballarat Corps was filled with supporters for this, the farewell to the Accepted Candidates, and recognition of long service for two terrific officers.

Both Majors Merrett come well qualified and prepared for the roles and the division, most recently led by Majors Peter and Jenny Walker welcomed them with grace and great expectation. May God bless this important division in our territory to His glory.

2 Peter 3:9 (MSG)
9 God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

On the Road

We're discovering that the faith journey involves,for us, a bit of time on the road. We attempt to use the time wisely, sharing the gospel as we go and trusting God for every conversation along the way.

Whether your journey takes you to the ends of the earth or fixed in a permanent setting, know that God is with you. Your challenges are the makings of faith and your impact need not be minimal. With God the possibilities are endless. Happy travelin'.

Psalm 37:23 (NIV)
23 If the Lord delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm;

Friday, 23 January 2009

Unity in Diversity

It may be over used, but we have in TSA this extraordinary unity in diversity. Our unity is in Christ. Hallelujah!

The diversity is essential to reach the diverse populations of the world.

Won't it be fantastic when we are able to just communicate in one accord in heaven?

Plan to be there. It is the Creators plan for you.

John 3:16 (NLT)
16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Women in ministry

Our utilisation of all people in TSA speaks of our conviction that God intends equality among gender. We have much room for improvement. God is leading us and better evidence of this hope is forthcoming. Hallelujah!

Galatians 3:28 (NIV)
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


Different cultures, different perspectives. Not every idea for ministry is applicable across the cultures. Not only are the societies intrinsically different, they are at different places in their development.

We have so much to learn from each other. Basic theological understanding is the same, but the application is best served with the nuances of culture. It's not only interesting to identify the differences, but it's also a thrill to gain from the unique and valid experiences. Hallelujah!

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.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

A Growing Army

Around the world and in neighbourhoods of deepest need The Salvation Army is serving God by reaching out to people in His name. Where the Army is increasing, Jesus is being glorified and sincere soldiers are being obedient to His will.

I am spending time with sisters and brothers who intimately know the Saviour and who serve Him with their every effort and intention. They're reminding me of God's incredible provision and faithfulness. Hallelujah!

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."

Monday, 19 January 2009

Denpasar No. 2 Corps

The meeting this morning at the Denpasar No. 2 Corps was a blessing of God. Under the ministry of the Chief of the Staff, we enjoyed the presence of God and the challenge of the Holy Spirit. Many seekers sought the grace of God in their lives.

The corps is extraordinary with music today from a THQ ensemble (look out Kenny G) and a xylophone ensemble from the Boy's home. Both groups were sensational and inspiring. Just before the meeting, we were favoured with native musicians and dancers in full costume. They were amazing and brought glory to God.

Thank you for your prayers.

1 Corinthians 12:13 (MSG)
13 By means of his one Spirit, we all said good-bye to our partial and piecemeal lives. We each used to independently call our own shots, but then we entered into a large and integrated life in which he has the final say in everything. (This is what we proclaimed in word and action when we were baptized.) Each of us is now a part of his resurrection body, refreshed and sustained at one fountain—his Spirit—where we all come to drink. The old labels we once used to identify ourselves—labels like Jew or Greek, slave or free—are no longer useful. We need something larger, more comprehensive.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

SPEA Zonal Conference

TSA is organised by zones in the world. The Australia Southern Territory is in the South Pacific East Asia Zone where Commissioners Pobjie are the Zonal Leaders. Every three years, there is a meeting of the leaders of these territories in the zone for many good reasons.

This conference began today under the leadership of the Chief of the Staff Commissioner Robin Dunster. Already we sense the presence of God and are encouraged by the affirmation of what God is doing through the ministry of TSA in this Zone. Hallelujah!

Please pray for us as we meet.

Zechariah 8:21 (MSG)
21 The leaders will confer with one another: 'Shouldn't we try to get in on this? Get in on God's blessings? Pray to God-of-the-Angel-Armies? What's keeping us? Let's go!'

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Youth Tick Walk

Intended to show support for youth who are a credit to Melbourne, this march was organised to take place today with the delegates of the Insane event. I couldn't make it, but wonder how it went. Let me know.

God bless our young people.

Psalm 71:17 (MSG)
17 You got me when I was an unformed youth, God, and taught me everything I know. Now I'm telling the world your wonders;

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Creative Genius

Some days I enjoy the company of creative genius. God plants these people in our lives to inspire us and encourage us in the journey.

Who would you say is a creative genius?

Luke 12:57 (MSG)
57 "You don't have to be a genius to understand these things. Just use your common sense,

Wednesday, 14 January 2009


Life is about relationships. We were designed to have friends. This basic need drives much of what we do. We need each other.

Seek the joy of healthy relationships. This includes contributing to the lives of others. A healthy relationship allows for mutual connectedness.

God desires to relate to you and you to Him. This relationship will bring better focus to your life and discernment and understanding. Go for it. Hallelujah!

Ezekiel 18:5 (MSG)
5 "Imagine a person who lives well, treating others fairly, keeping good relationships—

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

mission with edge

Mission with edge happened today at the City Temple in Melbourne.

Guest Speaker: Steve Chalke
Founder of Oasis Trust, Faithworks and chair of Stop the Traffik UK.
Faithworks exists to empower, inspire and resource local churches to develop their role at the hub of the community. It also seeks to challenge and change the public perception of the church by engaging with both media and government. The Faithworks Movement goal is to build the most effective social action network in the UK.

Also starring:

Captain Danielle Strickland
Social Justice Director
Major David Eldridge
Territorial Social Programme Secretary
Keith Waters
CEO, Anglicare Canberra and Goulburn

It was about local action with global perspective. I'm hoping it was recorded in print or otherwise so that we all can benefit.

Isaiah 49:6 (MSG)
6 He says, "But that's not a big enough job for my servant— just to recover the tribes of Jacob, merely to round up the strays of Israel. I'm setting you up as a light for the nations so that my salvation becomes global!"

Monday, 12 January 2009

INSANE - the event

Happening right now in the city of Melbourne, is an historic event called INSANE. Detailed for ages 14-25, 600+ great people have gathered to explore the riches of God, experience the indiscriminate love of God, and express their faith in the wider community of Melbourne to the glory of God.

Pray with us for them and who they will influence in the course of this dynamic event. Hallelujah!

note: I am aware that the choice of the name of this event is not fully appreciated.
From Merriam-Webster:
Pronunciation: \in-sān\
Function: adjective
Etymology: Latin insanus, from in- + sanus sane
Date: circa 1550
1 : mentally disordered : exhibiting insanity

This term is used to describe people who are mentally disordered. These people too are created in the image of God and should not be belittled in any way by anyone, especially the organisers of this event. I assure you that the intention of the use of this term speaks to the language of the target audience with an understanding the what is considered sane by the present culture in which we live, is unacceptable for followers of Jesus. Thank you for understanding.

Deuteronomy 32:20 (MSG)
20 He said, "From now on I'm looking the other way. Wait and see what happens to them. Oh, they're a turned-around, upside-down generation! Who knows what they'll do from one moment to the next?

Saturday, 10 January 2009


I am so grateful to God for His love. He provides for each of us and challenges us to grow remarkably. He knows the extent of our tomorrows as well as the content. Furthermore, His plan for us is only good. I like how His perfect plan is perfect for each of us.

Tomorrow, over 600 of our youth are gathering to celebrate the glory of God. The event is being designed to encourage the spiritual growth of our youth and to draw them closer to God. I'm thanking God for each of them and for what He is doing in their lives. Hallelujah!

Colossians 4:2 (MSG)
2 Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Salvation Service

This means saying yes to God. Nothing less. Please don't even entertain another option. Your question might be how God speaks definitively, but when He does, you must serve. I have heard people say, "when He calls me on the phone, I'll know for certain what to do." I see this as a humorous attempt to dodge the realities of faith.

For those who lean towards that position, they wouldn't know what to do if He were on the phone. You see, He speaks to us in a variety of ways. It may be a voice in our heart or a compelling circumstance. It may be a child through whom He speaks or a stranger. Look for Him. Listen to Him...and do what He bids. For God's sake do it! (and for yours)

Deuteronomy 13:18 (MSG)
18 Yes. Obediently listen to God, your God. Keep all his commands that I am giving you today. Do the right thing in the eyes of God, your God.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Full On

I like this expression. It denotes total engagement. As Salvation soldiers we desire to be full on in our journey of faith. Let every day be a day in which we honour God, worshiping Him in faithfulness and holiness. Let us assess each relationship and our capacity to influence people to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

Just start with the person you're with now or next. Let the conversation be uplifting and inspiring, pointing toward God and His indiscriminate love. Their life and yours will be enhanced and God will be glorified.

Full on, brothers and sisters. Full on in Christ.

Titus 2:12 (MSG)
12 We're being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now,

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

God is working

Everyday and all day, God is working among us. Not unlike the question about the noise a tree makes that falls in the forest with no one around, So God works often in anonymity. He does work and is at work all around you.

When I think of the many SA events, services and operations alone, I am amazed at what He is doing. Thank you, Lord for your abiding faithfulness towards us. Hallelujah!

Hebrews 8:6 (MSG)
6 But Jesus' priestly work far surpasses what these other priests do, since he's working from a far better plan.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Let the Sunshine In

So let the sunshine in...face it with a grin...
Smilers never lose...frowners never win...
So let the sunshine in...face it with a grin...
Open up your heart and let the Sonshine in...

We sang this in Sunday School when we were children. I don't know who wrote it, but I wouldn't be surprised if Arthur Arnott had something to do with it.

It was a beautiful sun shinning day in Melbourne today, just as Summer should be.

The sunshine in the chorus is about the presence of the Son of God in your life and in mine. I'm not in full agreement about the winning and losing bits, except when it comes to a life well lived and and eternity ahead, those with God's love within are the victors. Hallelujah!

Revelation 3:5 (MSG)
5 "Conquerors will march in the victory parade, their names indelible in the Book of Life. I'll lead them up and present them by name to my Father and his Angels.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Sense of Humor

A sense of humor is essential in our daily journey and particularly in our faith walk. There are people we meet who actually need us to hear the "human" in their conversation. When we take them too seriously, they hold their ground and a conversation shifts to becoming a confrontation. I'm suggesting that the "human" in their voice is their humor.

As believers we sometimes take ourselves too seriously and we need to see the joy in the engagement with the pre-Christian. I daresay, this approach is far more welcoming. The Scriptures have something to say about laughing.

1 Peter 1:8 (MSG)
8 You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don't see him, yet you trust him—with laughter and singing.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Southern Star

The Southern Star would be the largest ferris wheel type amusement in the southern hemisphere. At the Star, they refer to it as a flight, certainly not a ride. However you describe it, it is a delightful experience, worthy at least of trying once. The view over Melbourne is spectacular and thrilling. If you take binoculars, your view is logically enhanced.

Our perspective on Melbourne needs to be one that considers the souls who need the light of God. He is able to view the landscape with clarity as to where the lights of His love are shining. The Word reminds us not to hide our light, but to let it shine brightly. Let it shine to the glory of God.

Revelation 22:5 (MSG)
5 Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

God's Underwater creation

A visit to the Melbourne Aquarium reveals the beautiful underwater creation of God. The penguins, the sharks, crabs, lobsters, turtles, and fish of all kinds make up an amazing argument in favour of intelligent and divine design. The marine experts have developed a habitat for the animals (their choice of descriptor) and for us to enjoy.

What kind of world have you developed? With the help of God, you can create a world full of purpose, love and joy. Why not? I believe it to be a part of God's plan for you. Hallelujah!

Genesis 1:21 (MSG)
21 God created the huge whales, all the swarm of life in the waters, And every kind and species of flying birds. God saw that it was good.

Friday, 2 January 2009


Cricket is such a civilised sport. There's plenty to appreciate in the game and it takes good athletes to compete at the high levels. Australian Cricket has dominated the sport for a while. The South Africans, however, have given them a run for their money in the Boxing Day test matches.

There are rules that honour both sides and courtesies that are a part of the game that make it proper. I'm beginning to enjoy it.

Cricket, however, does not imitate life. Life is somewhat messy and unprdictable. Often we don't see so much honour between people. Into this arena, God interjects order and honour and an approach that is meaningful, directed and enjoyable. His love is seen in Jesus who lives for us to live.

1 John 3:4 (MSG)
4 All who indulge in a sinful life are dangerously lawless, for sin is a major disruption of God's order.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Start Well

A few days ago I mentioned that we should finish well. The odds of finishing well are greatly enhanced by starting well. Here we are at the beginning of a new year (for many people in the world, not all) with the potential for fresh hopes and new starts. Go for it!

In the context of positive direction, all that stands between you and a step forward is you. Together, let's take these steps to honour God and worship Him with our lives in spirit and in truth. Hallelujah!

2 Thessalonians 2:13 (MSG)
13 Meanwhile, we've got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as his from the very start. Think of it: included in God's original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth.