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


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


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


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


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.