Tuesday, May 13, 2008

24/7 Prayer...

Hey friends!

We need your help in covering 24/7 prayer! The territory is doing a year of 24/7 prayer and we need some time slots covered between:

28th (7pm) - 31st May (7pm)

If you are able to participate for any of these hours please do so! We need to make sure that we are covered in prayer!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

It's War

In the past month I have been reading Salvation Army History. Through this time I have been struck by the attitude of the early Salvationists.

These men and women of The Salvation Army really did have the mindset of a soldier fighting on the frontlines of war. Their motto was “To win the world for Jesus” and they believed that through the power of the Holy Spirit they would. We can learn much from these Salvationists.

While I don’t believe for a moment that we have lost sight of trying to “win the world for Jesus” maybe we have forgotten that we are engaged in a war. The early Salvationist recognised that they were in a fight. If they were going to win the fight they had to adopt they mindset of a soldier.
We can learn much from these people. We are in a war, a war for souls and as we remember Anzac Day it is only fitting that we remind ourselves that we too need to fight. Like the Anzacs we need to risk ourselves in order to win the world for Jesus just as our early Salvationists did. Let’s be aggressive, let’s fight and let’s be a true soldier for Christ and the Salvation Army for we do indeed belong to an Army.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Sharper than a Double Edged Sword

Lately I have been struck by Hebrews 4:12 which says,” For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires”.

This scripture has made me realize how powerful God’s word is. Now you might ask why have you only just noticed? It is because I have started using a technique (which some of you know) and that is praying the scriptures. In other words reading the scripture and then repeating it as a prayer to God.

An example of this is Micah 6:8 “O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God”. This scripture is repeated over and over again as I offer up prayer to God.

As I have started doing this, the scriptures have come alive and Hebrews 4:12 has become real to me, His word exposes things within us that we may not even realize are there. The word also helps us to reach for God. Most I all I find that the word challenges me to take up the fight, to win the world for Christ and be a warrior for God.

This is our call, our challenge. Take up the fight with the word in your hand like a sword, and start proclaiming the good news of the gospel to those that have yet to hear it.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Living Sacrifice

We have just completed the Easter period when we reflect on Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection. Hopefully over Easter you were able to spend time in reflecting on the sacrifice that Jesus made for you.

Jesus expects us too to make sacrifices for Him as well Romans 12:1 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”

This means that when we offer ourselves to God (I mean every part of ourselves) we become God’s own instrument in which He can work through our own lives to help others. This is a true indication of humility before God and others.

With the Self Denial Appeal this weekend we can use this as a time to sacrifice ourselves to God. While we can do this through our money we can also do this through other means as well.

My wife and I have decided do live as those in the poorer countries of the world would live such as not purchasing non essential items and cooking the type of food as you would find overseas such as rice etc. This type of living will give us a better understanding of sacrifice even if it is limited and artificial. (I suggest that if you can find the time to do this it might be a good option for you, because it might just help you understand a little bit better about sacrificing for God)
Our sacrifice to God will make us who we are in Christ because it means we give everything of ourselves to Him; there is not one part of our lives that do not belong to God.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lifestyle Choices

Recently, my wife and I made the decision to start swimming. As a result we bought a 10-swim pass at our local pool to get started. This decision was made out of the realisation that we needed to be more active and get our level of fitness up so we could lead a healthier lifestyle.

Today we see a large number of people that also have made those same personal lifestyle choices. How many people do you see run, walk or ride their bikes now!

While we may make these and other choices in life get our bodies healthier, do we make the same choices when it comes to our spiritual life?
I suggest that we need to work out our spiritual lives with the same dedication and commitment as we would our bodies. We need to make the same healthier lifestyle choices in our spiritual life if we to grow, so we can be more than followers of Christ but rather Warriors of Christ. If you know of people that are warriors for Christ then I would say they are men and women that soak up the word of God (more than just read it!), they act on the Word of God and also they are people of prayer.
If we are going to be able to be called warriors for Christ then we need to develop those same disciples into our spiritual journey with God.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Seeing History in our Future

Up until a certain point in my life, I had never been one to have an appreciation of history, particularly when it came to Salvation Army history. Maybe this was brought about from the misguided thought that what William and Catherine Booth started way back in the UK in 1865 (under the banner of the ‘Christian Mission’) wouldn’t be able to work now because we live in a different age.

Thankfully now I have changed my mind about history. We can learn a lot from what others did before us. While it maybe true that if we tried to adopt some of the things that our early pioneers of The Salvation Army, they may not work today because of the changing world we live in, we need to learn from history and apply the timeless principles that they have left as a part of their legacy to us.

Personally, I believe it is paramount that we hold onto the principles established by William and Catherine Booth. Firstly because it makes us unique as The Salvation Army, and secondly, these principles such as our doctrines are brought about by sound Christian values and practises.
We can all learn from history and I am encouraged to come across many people who are rediscovering the history of the Salvation Army. Remember William Booth said, “Go for Souls and Go for the worst!” This is our mandate today, which was born out of our history.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Young people making a BIG impact

I have always believed that young people are capable of doing the most extraordinary things. This weekend again confirmed that in my mind.

On Sunday I travelled to one of the country churches in my division. I attended the church in the morning, participating with the worship band. I then shared lunch with the people from the church before returning to the officers house for a while in the afternoon, before returning to the church to share with the junior soldiers and speak at their youth service in the evening.

While I was at the officers house their 8 year old son asked if I wanted to see his worm farm. Apparently he had nagged his parents for some time for this worm farm, and was very excited about having it. For those like me who are unfamiliar with the concept of a worm farm, the basic idea is that you get the worm farm equipment and upwards of 1000 worms, and then you put food and garden scraps into the farm for the worms to eat and then cover everything with newspaper and keep everything moist by adding a small amount of water to the newspaper. The result of this is that the worms eat the scraps and produce worm castings which are apparently very good for your garden. Another by-product of the worm farm is that the water which is added to the newspaper, and some of the other moisture generated from the farms processes drains to the bottom of the farm and out of a tap where it is collected in a bucket in a substance referred to as worm juice. Apparently this worm juice is a fairly valuable commodity at garden centres and is quite beneficial to the garden also.

This 8 year old boy, on his own initiative, decided to sell this 'worm juice' to people at his church for $1.00 a litre, is now nearing the $100.00 mark of funds raised. That in itself is fairly impressive, but his next idea blew me away. Instead of using the money he earned for buying a bike or a video game, this 8 year old boy is giving everything that he earns from this venture to The Salvation Army's Self Denial Appeal!!!!

Here is an 8 year old boy who through his own initiative is making a difference in peoples lives on the other side of the world!!! If that doesn't blow your mind, I'm not sure what will.

I praise God for his work in this boy's life, and pray that we will see more young people stepping up to make a difference in the lives of those around them and even those on the other side of the world.

Never let anyone tell you that you're too young to make a difference, if an 8 year old boy can do it, so can you!!!