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Showing posts from 2012

AND so, the planting concludes....

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This week brings about the completion for us (Julie and I) the planting of Craigieburn Salvation Army Corps, commonly and affectionally known as salvos3064.

Today I had a call and phone interview with the local Hume Leader Newspaper, who phoned to discuss our last 12 years of work here in the local area. They are wanting to do a story on us as we move on.

Someone (thanks Val) had sent them information about all this and they asked me many questions, which I must confess made me catch my breath a bit as I reflected on the past 12 years of work and ministry.

These past 12 years have seen many achievements here in Craigieburn, and even if no one else really recognizes that or has noticed, I know in my heart what we have done and experienced and achieved is not all that bad. Apparently the newspaper has been told most of it and that was a little sobering to hear them tell me and ask me all about some of the things I have simply forgotten about.

When we were asked to plant Craigieburn we wer…

Do you see what I see !?!?!

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a few things I have noticed recently....

some people just see the bad in everything. It takes effort to see and look for the good in others.

some people find it easier to complain and criticize, rather than encourage and build others up.

some people seem to find it easier to hate, than to love.

some people can only see the wrong, and hardly ever recognize the right.

some people watch, and others participate.



I have watched and heard many complaints about our service delivery and attempts to support our community.... irate people who abuse and bully.... and others who shed tears over the provision of support and help.



who are we ? this Salvation Army ?



we are more than a food voucher provider, more than a musical entertainment group...... we are not just a cup of tea provider or glass of cold water giver.... we are not just a quaint, irrelevant group of military looking sub culture people....



NO...



we are the Army of Salvation... the people of God, on a mission for Him, we work for Him, w…

I Work for Jesus.

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At most stages in our lives, we work for someone, or something.

I used to work for a newspaper, in the photo lab,.... a Customs agent....a shirt factory... a major retailer... and then I worked for a church youth department... but now, I work for Jesus.

I don't work for the Salvation Army, I work for Jesus.

I was reminded of this yesterday in my quiet time and I started feeling something bubble up within me, what a privilege I have.

My Boss, is the Saviour of the world.

My Leader is the one who died for human kind's redemption.

He provides for my every need and sets up the rules and conditions of my workplace.

He has positioned others around me to supervise me and guide and guard me, but He is still my boss.

But He is also my best friend, and Father, my counsellor and trusted confidant.

When I ask Him about things, He always leads me.

Getting up to go to work is no chore, it's not boring, or a dead end job, it's not meaningless...its life changing and life giving, and world ch…

And the Angels Sang...

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Yesterday at our church in Craigieburn, as we sang the song ... "O come let us Adore Him, Christ the Lord ".... the sound of the singing started to get louder...goose bumps arrived on my skin, as they are now, as I reflect on it, and you could audibly hear the angels singing with us.

Some people will dismiss this as something other than the angels......but friends I am telling you it was the angels. A supernatural event.

I personally have experience with angels.... they are described in Hebrews as ministering spirits, sent to serve those who are inheriting salvation, so we should expect their presence in what we do, when its about Jesus and His people. I think its in 1 or 2 Peter, where it states that angels long to look into the things of the Kingdom...



People discount them, basically out of ignorance.



There was a day in my ministry when 2 angels appeared to me on the bonnet of my car as I travelled to meet with a new family I was leading to Jesus. This happened in Ta…

The Critics !!!!!

"When You Get Kicked in the Rear,                                              You Know You’re out in Front ""When you’re at the front of the pack, everything you do attracts attention. Criticism comes with the
territory. Regardless of position or profession, all leaders undergo criticism and must learn to handle it
constructively. Whether the criticism has legitimacy or not, a leader’s attitude determines whether he
grows from it or groans under it.

When spectators watch a race, where do they focus their attention ? 

On the front runners !

Few people pay close attention to the racers who are out  of contention. 

Racers who are viewed as being out of the running are often ignored or dismissed, but when you are out front and ahead of the crowd every thing you do attracts attention. "

(From Leadership Gold,   John Maxwell)

- its hard to get kicked in the rear if everyone else is in front of you . - we  often criticize what we are ignorant of, or don't understand. - it…

what can happen in a few seconds.

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Last night after a wonderful day in church, I went for my daily walk. as I was walking along the road, 2 motorbikes came screaming up the intersection near me, revving their bikes like no ones business, and sped off up the street at some astronomical rate of knots.

Dodging traffic and going as fast as I have ever seen any bike go, - gone..... a few moments later, as I continued my walk, I could see some commotion up ahead and there laying on the ground, one of those bikes and its rider that had slammed into the back of a parked holden commodore, shunting it forward up a curb by about a metre.

As the rider was picking himself up, bloodied and hurt... and his mangled bike, I walked past. Many people had come out of their homes nearby to his aid and his fellow bike rider was assisting.

I pondered....why do bike riders ride like this, thinking their lives are indestructible.?

A lot can happen in a few seconds. A life can be changed, a family shattered, loved ones left to grieve and wo…

Hearing from God or who ?

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I spent some awesome time today with a mentor/friend, who spoke straight into my heart today.

You know, here is the general gist of what was said...

people come up to you and speak all sorts of stuff into your life, some of it sticks to your spirit like glue and its not always positive. I was sharing with Wayne, how yesterday someone spoke some stuff at us, about our future, which was pretty much less than Godly. in fact it damaged us.

I loved the response from Wayne, "we want people speaking Godly wisdom into our lives, stuff that is from God that stretches and lifts us, stuff that is God given never squashes you down ".

The challenge is to redirect, the stuff, that is not from God, and deflect it.

If it is from God it will not squash you down or diminish you, it will lift you and enlarge and encourage you.

the stuff we got yesterday was way less than Godly.

and it hurts.

In ministry, people place demands upon you, expectations and their own agenda.

The kind of ministry I am i…

Make sure the Water is in the Pool :

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Sometimes life/ministry/leadership just dishes up some disappointing results doesn't it ?

Sometimes its others letting you down, and at other times its all because of the choices
or mistakes you made along the way.

Make sure the water is in the pool before you go diving in !!!! We all know what would happen to us if we dived into an empty pool....it would not be a very good or pleasant result. Yet many in this world do just that with decisions and choices along their journey, and then when they suffer the consequences of their choices, its everyone elses fault or they try to justify their position. Here's a thought....it may have been better to see if the water was in the pool before you dived in, hey ?
As I was praying this morning, I had one of those moments when I felt God speaking to me about this subject.... not about belly flopping, or diving into something over my head, or failing to see what lays before me as I make my choices... or even seeing if the dive I make is go…

6 reminders for every leader/officer/pastor...

Someone said the other day that if their new Officer wasn't going to "pastor" them, then they were going to leave their church.

It reminded me that sometimes, people are fickle....  some are so demanding, others are quite passive, others are downright rude, and others just go with the flow.

Being an Officer/Pastor has its challenges, I will probably never live up to everyones expectations, and will no doubt dissappoint many along the way.  Sorry to those who I have already disappointed...... :(

But I will always do my very best at what I do.  Always.  !!!!  You will never get a half hearted , half baked effort from me.

I think there are many Officers and Pastors who would like to remind some of the fickle people along the way of their own responsibilties also.

It's all well and good for the people to demand their "rights" as sheep..... the right to be pastored and shepherded....  the right to hear great preaching, to get the worship style perfect for every singl…

7 Resources every Officer has at their disposal

I have started reading again,a book that impacted me many years ago, it is one of my prized books in my library, and I want to share with you,  some "nuggets", "gold" ministry tools that every Pastor or Officer should remember in ministry.

there are 7 resources that every Officer has at his or her disposal, right within his or her own reach....


Resource 1:

Every Congregation is Unique.

Using a church's uniqueness is an important factor in developing a flourishing ministry. God gives uniqueness to a church to achieve His purposes. He has created your church.

Look for your uniqueness, what makes your corps/church unique ?  Nail it then in that area, specialize in it, it is your God given uniqueness, ordained by Him.... and go for it.

Resource 2:

Every Congregation responds to a Pastors / Officers Love:

Congregations seldom thrive without an Officers love. The sheep grow restless without an attentive shepherd. This love is the God given love, the agape kind of love,…

This week (part 2)

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its all out in the open now, we will be the new Corps Officers of the Ringwood corps in Eastern Victoria.

personally I am pretty pumped about it. Not sure how everyone in Ringwood is feeling, hopefully ok.

I have been humbled by some of the responses of the Craigieburn folk, and now after 12 years, its time to move on.

On Christmas Day December 2000 our little family arrived here, starting a small holiday before a fairly traumatic beginning to S3064. we enjoyed Christmas with Julie's family in our new home and then started unpacking. At the end of that year we hadn't achieved much, a small group of people had joined us, but the ministry and work of TSA had begun in Craigieburn, and now 12 years later it is one of the largest Corps in Melbourne Central Division. (being careful here about pride) But it is satisfying that after all these years there are results. and they are mostly good results.

There is a good strong leadership team in place.

we have an awesome worship and minist…

This week...

This is a very big week, and tomorrow it will be evident why ... as hundreds of Salvo Officers in our territory are notified of where they will be serving Jesus in 2013.

We will let you know what is happening with us when the time is right ...
(which is 1.00pm Thursday Oct 11th , 2012 AEDST)

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God has been speaking to my heart his week though, and it has been very special for me. The other night I was walking around the block on my normal walking routine, and I heard the still small voice of the Lord speak into my heart about what I was to do in 2013 and who I was to Minister to.  I became overwhelmed with emotion as I pondered that thought, and allowed God to just speak into my spirit very deeply in those precious few moments on the streets of Craigieburn.

I (& Julie) have been ministering in Craigieburn for 12 years now and so whatever this week brings will be interesting indeed for us, even if it …

My New Routine ...

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I don't think I am fat, but I feel the need to adjust my lifestyle and eating habits and exercise routines.

This is all a bit personal, really, but I am a transparent leader, so I usually allow things about me to be in the open, when I can.

Recently I have weighed 76. 5kgs, and over the past 3 weeks after having started the change, have now dropped down to 74.1kgs.

here's whats happening ( a bit of a follow on to the heart doctor visit)...................

changed eating habits... no more sweet things (at least for a while), no more junk food,  ( for a while)
and I started the Gym for the first time today.

I have been walking everyday with Mel, my daughter, for  around a month or so now, 4.5kms most days, and the goal is to crank that up in speed and time.

The Goal ?

is to lose another 4.1kgs.  Hopefully by December 2012, and then keep it off.

why ? to feel healthier, and ensure that my body is a clean and a healthy temple for God to be able to use, for a long time to come.

I a…

My heart is good...

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Today I had a stress echo...stress test. Pressure is placed on your body as you walk on a treadmill to see how your heart performs.

An ultrasound is done of your heart before you get on the treadmill, and then measured against another ultrasound done straight after the treadmill experience.

And the report is... All ok. I have a good heart.

you may be wondering why this had to happen (or you may not) - recently My GP found a tiny scar on my Heart after doing an ECG, and so I was referred onto the heart doctor to just get it checked to make sure.

Whilst I didn't do that wonderfully well on that treadmill, it was very re-assuring to find out that my heart is ok and that this 52 year old body of mine will make it for a few more years yet.

It got me thinking though, that its wonderful that the Doctor said my heart is good, but how much better if The Lord says my heart is good.

Whilst I think it is absolutely key that your body's pump is doing its job, I think its even more important t…

"This is My Business"

ON Sunday morning just gone, God was with us in church in a very big way. Now I know He always is, but for me personally He spoke audibly into my ears.

I will tell you in a minute what He said....

however, just prior to it though, I had just finished preaching....you can hear it at:

www.salvos3064.podbean.com

but suffice to say I felt I had done my best at communicating what I believed God wanted said.

quite a few people hung around for prayer and ministry after the service, and one special woman in our church was touched by God in a supernatural way, spending time with Him for "sometime on the floor" after.

as I sat and pondered all that which was taking place, it was then that I heard God speak to me saying...

"This is your business"

it's His business, but He has called me to make it "MY" business, the ministry and prayer for His people.

a special business indeed.

so...if you are around me, at church on a Sunday, I will be (continuing) making it my bu…

2013 and beyond ????

This time of the year always make Officers in the Salvation Army feel a bit on edge, especially in Australia, when in the next  few weeks we will hear whether or not we get to stay another year in our present appointment of are required to be moving on to some other place.

its no different for Julie and I, than what it is for every Officer, we feel quite unsettled and ill at ease about this, especially since we have been in our present ministry appointment for 12 years.

It's risky even talking about it a superficial level, as people read between the lines, make their own assumptions and it may not even be correct. ( and the truth is, I actually have no concrete ideas at all about 2013 as yet)

October 11th is "D" day for all this, so we will probably find out the same time, that everyone else does whether we are to move or stay.

for me personally it is playing with my mind this year and I am feeling things I have never felt before, thinking thoughts I have never thought b…

FORM vs FUNCTION.

I want to post a  "churchy" report that Val  (our Craigieburn CSM ) sent to me here and share it with everyone in regards to the local church, its VERY  - VERY good.

we recognise it comes from another church pastor, but it's too good to not share it...maybe if a few of us took heed to it, it may just change what the local church looks like and how it functions.

a lot of people are more concerned about what  a church looks like, rather than what it does.

I would like to suggest to you  -

that what it does(function), should identify  what it looks like (form).

rather than the other way around....

sound confusing ?

well let me clear it up... (hopefully) (from A Salvo perspective)

when we are more concerned about our uniforms, bands, songsters, flags.... than seeing peopel saved and set free, well we have it back to front.

Rather.. it should be, that people are set free and saved when the Salvos turn up. And that is our primary concern. 

That our outward appearance just iden…

Latest Salvos 3064 report...

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Cant wait for Sundays worship services...tonights rehearsals were amazing, with a couple of suprises in store for all present on sunday, including new songs and new voices....I just love our church and what God is doing amongst us, make sure to keep reading below for our latest Cup Cake ministry report...if you can, get to our church on the weekend..9.45am or 4:13pm Youth church..awesome.

Brothel Visitation Report ( Cup Cake Ministry) ..thanks Lisa....

It is just amazing how God is opening the doors within the Brothel ministry, in fact not only are the doors opening, they are swinging wide open. The past few weeks, God has been providing opportunities to display His love, grace, and dispense hope, peace and encouragement to ladies that are struggling with low self esteem, abandonment, low self worth, immeasurable loneliness, depression, drug & alcohol and gambling addictions.

We have amazing privileges to be able to enter into these dark places, and shine the light of Jesus a…

His plans better than my dreams.

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Monday Morning:

I have had a stressful weekend of personal turmoil, which God and I are dealing with together.

It's not easy, you have probably already worked it out, that I am having a tough time, well I am.

What do you do when you have a tough time ?

My last blog was fairly accurate in what I am feeling or should say, have been feeling. Today I am feeling  just a little numb as well as resigned to the Lordship of My Father, that His will be done in my life.

I have a very good friend who has helped me over the years as my mentor, (Pastor Shane Baxter) a great man of God reminded me a number of years ago and I hold it true for my life, almost as a life commandment now, and it' simple...

Purpose over Preference.

living your life with God's purpose in mind rather than my own personal preference,  is maybe easier to say than to do... but I feel my life is being tested right now on this principle.

Will I practice what I preach ?

Will I live and breathe Gods purposes, and prefer …