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


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


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

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

Friday, 20 February 2009


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."

Friday, 13 February 2009

Victoria Bush Fires 6

Matthew 25:40 (MSG)
40 Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Victoria Bush Fires 5

More people helped and more coming for help. We're now serving from 14 different sites in Victoria. We continue to give support where it is needed.

Tomorrow morning we will open up a permanent location in Whittlesea, revealing our intention to be there for the long haul. We want people to know that we plan to remain and keep working as long as necessary.

Have I mentioned that our people are doing a great job? They are. Salt and light are being dispensed. Hallelujah!

1 Corinthians 13:7 (MSG)
Love...7 Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Victoria Bush Fires 4

The fires continue in certain areas. Firefighters continue to work long hours. They are doing a great job and making a real difference in these fire battles. They are heroes.

The relief workers are amazing too. Untiring, faithful and deliberate, these workers prove the grace of God with their willingness to give themselves to others unequivocally. It would be preposterous for them to select who to help on any basis and they do not.

God's love is indiscriminate and unconditional. Avail yourself to His grace and be set free from the selectivity and discrimination that this world promises.

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.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Victoria Bush Fires 3

The death count continues to rise. Experts are thinking we may soon reach the 200 mark. As some of you have commented, God is crying with us. The natural conditions which set the stage for this disaster are indescriminate. The fires continue to burn at different levels in different places. We are broken hearted over the loss of lives.

The response throughout the country continues to be miraculous. Individuals and corporations are joining together to do their part, even in tough economic times. The governments too are full on engaged in relief work. These are powerful combinations.

As of this morning, we have given in excess of $800,000 in direct support to victims of the bush fires. Salvos are working hard for these people who have it tough. We have 12 support stations throughout the state, involving three divisions and their teams.

Thank you each for your prayers and support. On Sunday, we will be doing an appeal throughout our corps. We can all help.

2 Corinthians 6:4 (MSG)
4 Our work as God's servants gets validated—or not—in the details. People are watching us as we stay at our post, alertly, unswervingly . . . in hard times, tough times, bad times;

Monday, 9 February 2009

More Victorian Bush Fires

I spent the day with giants in the field. Moving among our workers in Whittlesea today, I witnessed first hand the powerful grace of God through our people on the job. Each one giving themselves unselfishly, they are preparing and serving food, meeting victims and offering financial support, and crisis counseling as needed. Amazing.

The stories that people are sharing about their escapes and those that didn't make it are reminders that these people are in need of understanding, hope and grace. We are there for them as best we can. Many other good people too are there. It is an extraordinary moment of beautiful people helping others simply because they are in need.

Lord, help us.

Job 16:21 (MSG)
21 I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Victorian Bush Fires

The worst bush fires in the history of Victoria continue to blaze while more than 600 homes have been destroyed and at the moment, 65 known deaths. There are many reasons to expect that number to climb even higher.

Our teams have been in place from the beginning of the response and have already served thousands of meals to workers and victims alike. Our counselors too have been pressed into service throughout the night and day with different relief teams meeting those who have lost loved ones, their homes and those who have been injured.

We have initiated a Victorian Bush Fire Relief fund to support the thousands of people affected. They are going to need continuing and longer term support going forward. People can help by calling 13SALVOS or donating through our website at or click here.

More tomorrow.

Psalm 44:26 (NIV)
26 Rise up and help us; redeem us because of your unfailing love.

Saturday, 7 February 2009


In all that we do as believers, grace must be present. Sometimes we're too quick to judgement on our brothers and sisters, when we're not really in touch with all the facts and intentions. Here's where grace should surface. In place of criticism, we need to consider prayer in the matter. Sometimes personal matters cloud our understanding as well.

Now before this sounds judgemental, let us reach into our souls and consider the beauty of Jesus in our brothers and sisters. Our relationship then should be marked by love.

John 13:35 (AMP)
35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Ambassadors of Holiness

We met with the Ambassadors of Holiness Session at the Training College today. This is a terrific session. There are 26 and they represent some of the finest Salvationists in the territory.

God has chosen each of them and they are where they belong. Hallelujah! With the support of families, corps, mentors and many friends, they have begun their training to become officers in TSA. We need to continue in our support and pray for them with diligence.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (AMP)
20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Major Winsome Mason

We have a new Divisional Commander in South Australia. Following the good work of Majors Dennis and Pat Rowe, Major Winsome Mason was installed tonight in a public meeting to the glory of God. She is the first woman Divisional Commander in the history of the division.

The South Australia Division continues to be fertile soil for the redemption of the lost and the sanctification of the believers. It is a great place to serve the Lord by helping mankind. Hallelujah!

Romans 3:26 (MSG)
26 This is not only clear, but it's now—this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Here's a dependable airlines. When I board a Qantas flight, I have every confidence that I will reach my destination, be treated like a guest, and have a satisfying experience. Actually, I trust them. I think many people trust them.

The Creator of the universe extends His love indiscriminately through His Son and people choose not to trust Him. It's very sad and heart breaking. Let's do the right thing and demonstrate God's love convincingly.

Proverbs 3:5 (NLT)
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.

Monday, 2 February 2009

International Appointments


LT. COLONELS KEITH AND BERYL BURRIDGE, officers of the United Kingdom Territory (with the Republic of Ireland) currently serving respectively as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries in the Singapore, Malaysia & Myanmar Territory, are appointed territorial leaders in that territory. Lt. Colonel Keith Burridge is appointed as Territorial Commander, Singapore, Malaysia & Myanmar Territory, and Lt. Colonel Beryl Burridge as Territorial President of Women’s Ministries. They take up their new appointment responsibilities with the rank of colonel.

MAJORS LEE, KONG CHEW AND LEE, TEOH GIM LENG, officers of the Singapore, Malaysia & Myanmar Territory currently serving respectively as Director, William Booth College of Mission/Principal, SFOT and Home Officer/Cadet Counsellor in that territory, are appointed respectively as Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries, Singapore, Malaysia & Myanmar Territory. They take up their new appointment responsibilities with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

MAJORS RONALD AND ROBYN CLINCH, officers of the Australia Southern Territory currently serving as divisional leaders of the Eastern Victoria Division of that territory, are appointed to the Philippines Territory. Major Ronald Clinch is appointed as Chief Secretary, the Philippines Territory, and Major Robyn Clinch as Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries. They will take up their new appointment responsibilities with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. They succeed Lt. Colonels Graham and Rhondda Durston who will be retiring from active service.


MAJORS SAMUEL AND DONNI PHO, officers of the Australia Southern Territory currently serving respectively as Territorial Liaison Officer for Asian Ministries and Chaplain, Chinese Ministry, Inala Village in that territory, are appointed to the Hong Kong and Macau Command. Major Samuel Pho is appointed as Officer Commanding, Hong Kong & Macau Command, and Major Donni Pho as Command President of Women’s Ministries. They take up their new appointment responsibilities with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. They succeed Lt. Colonels Mervyn and Elaine Rowland who will be retiring from active service.


COMMISSIONERS DAVID AND GRACE BRINGANS, officers of the New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory, currently serving as territorial leaders of the Singapore, Malaysia & Myanmar Territory, are appointed as territorial leaders of the Mexico Territory. Commissioner David Bringans is appointed as Territorial Commander, Mexico Territory, and Commissioner Grace Bringans as Territorial President of Women’s Ministries. They succeed Colonels Olin and Dianne Hogan who will be retiring from active service.

1Sa 12:14
14 If you fear God, worship and obey him, and don't rebel against what he tells you. If both you and your king follow God, no problem. God will be sure to save you.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Leongatha Corps

We have witnessed the presence of God throughout the celebration of 21 years as a corps in Leongatha, Victoria. Captains Heather and Martin Scrimshaw and their team have a sensational expression of The Salvation Army that includes the entire spectrum from the smallest children to the eldest among us. Together, they share the joy of Jesus in practical, faithful ways.

Want to stop in on a country corps with the works? Go to Leongatha.

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"?