This is all about a place for me to share my thoughts about God and what He is doing around me.
Hopefully you may be challenged to live your life closer to Him as result of reading these thoughts.
Possibly...from time to time I may share frustrations and disappointments .....
Whatever... It's just my space and my opinion.
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God chatter... Mission without the message ?
I have had some wonderful conversations with some amazing Godly people this week in the line of my work as an Area Officer, this part of my life is just awesome. Can I say, I love this part of my job, iron sharpening iron really... thanks friends for those who have spoken deeply into my life this past few days... amazing.
It sure has been an interesting week in so many ways... God has been speaking to me, and I have heard Him, I think.
I read this post on FB today, and it is prompting me hugely... as I consider all going on in my life and around me and also in TSA these days.
It's a quote from a preacher way back in 1949, a preacher in the Hebridean revival, a guy by the name of Duncan Campbell, no idea who he is... but something about his statement resonates within me deeply right now. He says......
"We have been out -maneuvered by the strategy of hell, because we have tried to meet the enemy on human levels by human strategy. We have succeeded in making people church-conscious, mission conscious ...without making them God - conscious.
Revival must be related to righteousness and the way to a revived church is still the way of repentance and true holiness."
Perhaps this applies to us personally also in 2018 ... well maybe not you, but for me... it could be easily true that in these days, I speak more about mission than I do Jesus.
I think in fairness to any who objects, we know that deep beneath the surface there is an intent that our mission is about Jesus.
But ... we must be Jesus People, who speak and proclaim Jesus and His love, sharing it in word and action... and behaviour and mindset and practice.
Evidenced in our prayer gatherings and worship and bible studies and therefore in Godly activity and growth and health in our Christian gatherings.
I dream of a day when the TSA, and the church in general, will stand on these promises of God and proclaim HIM, loudly.... from the rooftops ( - in the media, street corners, churches, work places, schools, shopping centers, everywhere) this authentic truth of Jesus and His love for the whole world.
Not a watered down, compromised, feel good (for us) witness, but hard truth and what it actually means to be a Christ follower in this modern world.
I got to thinking of why people are so keen to help TSA do mission ... you know, get involved in the soup runs, help the homeless, provide shelter and blankets for the cold and weary... and its because deep down there is a sense of helping others is the right thing to do, it can make us feel good about the fact that we have tried to do something.
It's very good and noble and its very needed and I applaud those who do this....
But we were called to so much more than just that, we were called to proclaim Jesus and help people to turn to Him and be saved, and in the process of doing that we also give a warm cup of soup on a cold night.
Mission without the message,
is a waste of the mission, in my mind.
Just as the message without the mission could easily be the same...
it's love in action.
It's the key reason why TSA has such a strategic ministry with both of these aspects of faith being lived out and practiced and not watered down anywhere at anytime. It's our birthright, in our DNA from the very beginning.
Is it still true of us ? everywhere ? hmmmmmm ?????
Oh how I truly hope that is how it will be in the country in which we live and serve, and starting in and through and with me.
(you will need to work it out for yourself whether this is what is required of you or not)
I see so many people wanting to help society who live with out hope .... but what hope do we truly offer, if it isn't Jesus Himself ? If its just soup.... a warm bed, a blanket, its good.... YEP !!! But the real hope is Jesus Himself....
I wonder what it would take for us to crank that up these days ? To be willing to risk everything and anything for the very sake of a persons soul and heaven as their reward ?
Would we risk losing our government funding ?
Would we risk our reputation ?
Would we risk our personal comfort ?
Would we risk it ...anything, for the sake of the proclamation of Jesus as the hope of the World ?
Big questions I know, been asked heaps of times before.... and for me, a personal challenge.
Maybe you too !
One of our Salvo Corps has this amazing program that functions in the corps/church to help people find their way through Alcohol and drug addiction. It's a church based program, not funded by Government and this past week they just started a bible study for those wanting to participate...and 12 people turned up, some believers and some who are not... and for me it's super exciting that in the middle of the mess of life, that it can often be, God is right there, just waiting for us to stand up in HIM and to proclaim His truth and hope and love and life.
that's why I joined up in the first place....
so in summary.... I think its time for the modern church and us TSA to start out -maneuvering the enemy.....
the best way I know...
prayer meetings and worship
and standing up when in the past we may have remained silent.
Let's get the " mission and the message" out there....
Jesus is the Savior of the world, He loves everyone, regardless of what we have ever done...
and Calls us to holiness and righteousness.
What will it take for us to go do that ?
To go BE that ?
Just my musings and thoughts about life and ministry these past few days.
These are very interesting days in The Salvation Army in Australia.
Some, I have heard, are struggling with the changes, and whilst I get that, because change isn't at all easy for any of us at times, it nevertheless is critical to our ongoing viability as a movement of God.
As soon as I start writing my thoughts and feelings here, one way or the other, I know that it will alienate a group of people, and that isn't my intent. So if that is you, I apologise, but would you please just read on and try and see what I am getting at.
I have been a Salvo all my life, I was born into it...I am currently 57 years of age, so that means I have been a Salvo for 57 years. When I was around 15 years I became a Soldier to go into uniform and play in the band at Perth Fortress. A lot of us did that, and it was a ritual for some of us, a means to an end. A way of conformity if you like. As my life went through my teen years, I was involved in the same way as many others, not particularly…
I am not sure its been my best year, 2017, but I am not sure it has been my worst either.
Do you ever reflect on the year just gone and wish you had done some things and hadn’t done some things ? Well, it’s like that for me. There are many things I wish I hadn’t done, and there a number of things I wish I had.
You can’t go back and change it.... but we can make choices that change what a new year looks like.
I am hopeful for that, for myself. I haven’t blogged much in 2017, and I noticed the last entry was in August..a bit slack of me really.
For 2018 things will be hugely different for me ( and Jules), we have moved house, and will work from home in a new role for TSA in Australia. It’s exciting, but also a bit daunting as we try and discover what the role truly means.
Here are a few things, my top 10, I hope to achieve in 2018 for my life personally. No particular order, and dont read between the lines, coz there isnt anything to read there.
There is a balm in Gilead,To make the wounded whole;There is a balm in Gilead,To heal the sin-sick soul.Some times I feel discouraged,And think my work’s in vain,But then the Holy SpiritRevives my hope again.(Chorus) If you can’t preach like Peter,If you can’t pray like Paul,Just tell the love of Jesus,And say He died for all.(Chorus) Don't ever feel discouraged,'Cause Jesus is your friend,And if you lack for knowledge,He'll never fail to lend. This morning in my quiet time I was reading Joshua 13, and Gilead was mentioned, and straight away I was drawn back many years of my life..to when I was young and playing in the Perth Fortress Band...and the arrangement was put on the stand of this beautiful old hymn. I am ever so grateful for my heritage and history at Perth Fortress, for the people there that shaped my life and introduced me to Jesus. Sometimes I do feel discouraged, and sometimes I am aware of my sin sick soul... and sometimes I am aware that Jesus is my hope in the…