Sunday, December 30, 2007

the cow worldview


(hattip rc)
SOCIALISM
You have 2 cows.
You give one to your neighbour.

COMMUNISM
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and gives you some milk.

FASCISM
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and sells you some milk.

NAZISM
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both and shoots you.

BUREAUCRATISM
You have 2 cows.
The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk
away.

TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM
You have two cows.
You sell one and buy a bull.
Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows.
You sell them and retire on the income.

SURREALISM
You have two giraffes.
The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

AN AMERICAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows.
Later, you hire a consultant to analyse why the cow has dropped dead.

ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM
You have two cows.
You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of
credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity
swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back,
with a tax exemption for five cows.
The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a
Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells
the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company.
The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one
more.
You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you
with nine cows.
No balance sheet provided with the release.
The public then buys your bull.

THE ANDERSEN MODEL
You have two cows.
You shred them.

A FRENCH CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You go on strike, organise a riot, and block the roads, because you want
three cows.

A JAPANESE CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and
produce twenty times the milk.
You then create a clever cow cartoon image called 'Cowkimon' and market it
worldwide.

A GERMAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk
themselves.

AN ITALIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows, but you don't know where they are.
You decide to have lunch.

A RUSSIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
You count them again and learn you have 2 cows.
You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.

A SWISS CORPORATION
You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you.
You charge the owners for storing them.

A CHINESE CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You have 300 people milking them.
You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity.
You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.

AN INDIAN CORPORATION
You have two cows.
You worship them.

A BRITISH CORPORATION
You have two cows.
Both are mad.

AN IRAQI CORPORATION
Everyone thinks you have lots of cows.
You tell them that you have none.
No-one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your
country.
You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy.

A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION
You have two cows.
Business seems pretty good.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Down Under


Well, it's been a great few days over Christmas here in Melbourne. God has certainly shown up and revealed His gracious presence in our lives. Family (online!), friends, extended family - lots of grace and love revealed and celebrated. Good times. I was reading through 2nd Samuel this week - and got to the part where David finally realizes that while he's in a palace, God is in a tent. He speaks to the prophet and says he'd like to correct the imbalance. God politely declines his offer... so nice of him, but after all, God suggests - if He wanted a palace He would live in a Palace... in essence, the earth is His footstool (this is a subtle dawning on both David and me!). Sometimes it's just a good reminder that God doesn't need our help exalting Himself.

Then God gives to David this amazing promise about His family and His heritage being secure in Himself. I loved that. There was something amazingly significant about God's promise to David about His family being 'enthroned' and secure in God's promises with their obedience. And David immediately recognizes it as God's great grace. He doesn't presume the right just because He's king. He says, 'who am I and who is my family that you would do this for us?' - good question. I've been thinking the same thing.

I'm not sure where it is exactly that the presumption of entitlement happens in our Christian walk - but it's a nasty disease. Everything that is good, noble, right, true, whole and rich and free (and I could go on) is God's grace in our lives. I've been thinking about this and wondering out-loud to God - 'who am I and who is our family that you would be so kind?' I know this for sure... I'm so glad to know Him. May Jesus be glorified forever. But for the grace of God go I. My body is no palace - and it may resemble a tent more and more each day - but God dwells in me - WOW!
Ponder that and Be blessed.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

heaven is my home.


So, today I had the privilege of going to 614 Melbourne. For some reason, while I was there I had some emotions about home. I guess the vibe there reminds me of my 'home' ... and for the first time in Australia felt the major pangs of family disconnect. This was a bit sad - but also a good way of identifying albeit a small bit - but more, with those around the place who spend every Christmas without any place to belong. I began to think of the hundreds of families around this neighbourhood (Collingwood) and many like it, who live around the world from their family - without the hope of reconnecting anytime soon.
I've got a whole other kind of family in the Salvation Army - a community doing a great job caring for me and the fam. yet many of those people (other immigrant families) have no other supportive connection. That's a lonely season. I've been praying that God would hook us up with a family of two from this neighbourhood with whom we can share the fullness of God's great gift to us this Christmas. And of course, praying heaps for our own family, around the other side of the world and yet close in our hearts and minds.
And I've been thanking God for His definition of 'family' that widens to encompass the whole world through believing faith in Jesus.
I'm so glad He came. In the end, heaven is our home. I'm longing for that too.
Be blessed.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Xcessmas


The spirit of Christmas or "Xcessmas"? (hattip: VC)

If the pressures of Xcessmas (presents, parties and panic) are threatening your Christmas joy throw away your Xcessmas to-do list and try the following to rediscover the spirit of Christmas.

Sit on a bench at the mall and watch for small babies going past. How vunerable and yet how infinitely precious they are. Smile at them and their (probably frazzled ) parents. Know that God has amazing plans for their lives! Pray for them.

Practise random acts of kindness. Hand Christmas cards to strangers. Visit your local old folks home with magazines and a smile. Anonymously send grocery vouchers to friends you know are doing it tougher than you. Drive kindly, let others into traffic.

Find someone sitting alone at the mall. Say "hello" and "how are you?" and then listen. Pray for them.

Many people find the pressures of Xcessmas overwhelming. Remind them about Christmas.

Find a Bible and read about the first Christmas.

Are you afraid?

The shepherds were afraid and yet they came to witness the wonder of God's Love.

Worried about presents?

God doesn't ask for that new microwave or the biggest mp3 player or the newest toy craze.

All He wants is you.

The Kings didnt get Jesus in the local kris kringle. They came to honor and to worship and to adore.

Wait until its dark. Go outside and stand alone under the stars. Gaze up. Let yourself feel very, very small.

Then remember

God Who made the Heavens and the Earth

LOVES you !

And that is all you really need for Christmas.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Price of Apathy


Plato:

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

Friday, December 14, 2007

An Aussie Christmas


If you'd like to join in the celebration:

On the first day of christmas my true love gave to me:
A kookabura in a gum tree...
On the second day....
Two pink galahs...
On the third day...
Three little penguins
Five Kangeroos
Six sharks a swimming
Seven possums playing
Eight flies a feasting
Nince cros a weepong
Ten wombats sleeping
Eleven emus kicking
Twelve devil fighting...
and a kookabura in a gum tree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Canada Can Do Better


Canada Can Do Better

Check out this site - a great go by Canadian Advocates in the fierce debate raging on whether to legalize prostitution. Some FANTASTIC reading and resources to understand the issues involved in the struggle.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

speak up and live.


Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jr.

speak up and live.

Monday, December 10, 2007

John Smith and St. Martins


Had the great joy of being able to walk down the street to St. Martin's Community Church this sunday and join in their 'God Squad' celebrations. It's a fun thing to go to a church where 25 Harley's are parked on the sidewalk outside.
Inside it's filled with bikers who love Jesus and show it by their service to the community.
John Smith (a legend in Aus. and founder of the God Squad movement, St. Martins Community Church and Concern Australia - advocacy group) was on to preach. And what a great preach it was. Using Isaiah and the gospels (John the Baptist and Jesus as the main characters) he wove us a beautiful tapesty of deep, rooted, justice within the Christmas message. Check out Mary's magnificant song to that effect in Luke's gospel... the poor are exalted while the rich go away empty handed - God's economy!
the challenge was a full one... and in case anyone couldn't make the application - here's the classic quote to a prosperity philosophy, "Todays church is not grasping the Kingdom, they are bastardising it." thanks John for the reminder. Open-handed living is the answer for me... I'm prying my hands open daily - God help us!
Grace.

Friday, December 7, 2007

JUSTGIFTS online NOW!


buy in time for Christmas!

Wilberforce was a 'nutter'


I was given the honour of attending the William Wilberforce awards ceremony the other night where General Eva Burrows was presented an award for 2007 - for living a life in the spirit of William Wilberforce. I agree! What an honour - what a women of God.
To kick off the evening the president of Victoria Bible College, Mike Raiter, presented a short speech on Wilberforce - here's a taste:

"And you simply cannot understand Wilberforce apart from his Evangelical faith.
It’s fascinating reading about Wilberforce against the background of today where there’s so much discussion about religion and politics – so much concern about those who allow their faith to intrude on matters of public policy.
- and the striking thing is that when you read about Wilberforce how little – how very little - things have changed.
- the very same concerns were being echoed in his day.

The vast majority of his contemporaries viewed Evangelicals like Wilberforce and John Newton – with great disdain and suspicion – Enthusiasts – Saints.
Today the insults have changed – now Wilberforce would be tagged a ‘Fundamentalist’ – can there be anyone more injurious to the common good than any kind of fundamentalist?
Tony Blair sparked controversy this week by claiming that while PM he couldn’t speak openly about his deep religious faith because such people are viewed by society as "nutters".
Well, that was Wilberforce – he was a nutter.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The world has gone mad...

Glad to see Vancouver has it's priorities straight. (ht:sr)
Read the full article but keep in mind THE Vancouver housing crisis and an inner-city that is a blight on the western world - (Canada's poorest postal code where living conditions border on develping world conditions!)...

The characters were designed by the Vancouver and Los Angeles-based Meomi Design. Their characters have been used as part of iGoogle, a customizable homepage option from Google, as well as Electronic Arts, Girls Inc., Time Out Magazine, Cyworld, Nick Jr., Bang-on Clothing, and CBC4Kids.

The Vancouver organizers have a CDN$46-million merchandising program; previous Olympics have made as much as $100 million from mascot-related products.

René Fasel, Chairman of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Coordination Commission commented that "The IOC welcomes these imaginative new additions to the Olympic Family as they take their place on the world stage today - a symbol of the Games and of Canada. We know that when Olympians, Paralympians and visitors from around the globe arrive in British Columbia at Games time, they will fall under the spell of these captivating characters."

The characters first appearance will be at a Bay store in the Lower Mainland; HBC is a major sponsor of the Games. They will then make their way to schools, take a break through the Christmas season, and fly to Ottawa for the Winterlude festival.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Kingdom moves...


So the Lord is gracious. That I know.
This last day particularly God has been revealing much to me.
One of the major events in my life right now is trying to finish at one home and move into a new one. It may not seem like rocket science - but it is hard work. And time consuming. So, through this very physical act the Lord has been revealing some spiritual truth (in keeping with his teaching style!).

1. packing up is hard work but necessary. Not just a wipe down but a scrub and even in places you don't see... this is also necessary spiritual work if you want to move somewhere new in the Kingdom.

2. moving in is also hard work - and God is wanting to establish new things... this means we must be adaptable, flexible and willing to put in some hard work! New things are often harder because we have to start at the very beginning (think, utensils and brooms)... but you can make sure that you are doing it correctly and well from the beginning.

There is a cost to moving into the new things of God - but it's one we can count with JOY. For what God is doing promises to be worth the effort.

Hey - there is another cool little thing I was reminded of during our prayer finale (the 2nd 24 hour slot our community has been blessed with) and that's this:
the apartment we are moving into is brand new (built for this occasion) but it's built into a very old foundational building in the neighbourhood. This, we believe, is what God is up to. Building on an old and sure foundation - but doing something new... WOW. We serve a great God.

The Well Is Deep...


Had a deep sense of the Lord's history in Collingwood tonight.
We had the great privilege of having Major Allan Lorenze come to the kick off of our 2nd 24 hour prayer slot in the community. We started at the Penitent Form (or what used to be the Collingwood Sr. Corps mercy seat) - which is a now a patch of grass that we happened to have our last finish of our first 24 hour prayer slot (mostly because it started to rain!)... and the VERY spot Major Allan had his 'calvary experience' many years ago. I knelt with him - what else could I do? What an honour. Then we walked the 'march' route of the early salvationists - pausing at each spot they did open-airs to sing, reflect and pray. Good times.
I was reminded of the time in Gen. when Isaac comes to places and finds wells that are all plugged up (by the Philistines usually) and he unplugs them and recognizes them as his father's well - he reclaims them. That's what I felt like we were up to tonight...even still all through the night our small band of warriors is praying hard for the things God did then (1800 in an average meeting... 150 plus on the march... and need for a 'stretcher sergeant' whose job was to transfer people falling under the weight of God's presence to 'the glory room' so they could have longer times with God!) to do again - in OUR day, in OUR time... Oh God hear our prayer! Tomorrow we 'take some land' quite literally as we move into the neighbourhood.
BRING IT ON!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

How Long Oh Lord?


Not much has changed in the Downtown Eastside

As Pickton jury deliberates, women still going missing from Vancouver stroll

Brian Hutchinson, National Post Published: Friday, November 30, 2007


Check out this story - featuring Jen Allan, an old friend and a strong and confident believer who with God's help defied the odds and became a light in the darkness.
I get inspired by her and pray for her daily.

I wondered again today when God is going to answer all of the prayers for the downtown eastside? I know He is already - Jen is a great example of that and there are more than her... but I cry out with the psalmist, Jenn and the women from the dtes and the martyrs before the Throne - 'how long oh Lord?' and I continue to pray with the believers who still fight on that front. To them I say be fearless and keep your forehead like flint - we are going to win - God is on your side! To Jen I say I'm proud of you and stay close to Jesus. To the countless women who still remain in the clutches of the enemy and in the way of destruction I say you are not alone and pray for your protection and complete freedom. To the city of Vancouver and the country of Canada I say release the funds and programs for affordable housing, protection and exit programs for these women NOW. And to myself, loudest of all - I say - PICK UP YOUR GAME... and fight, fight, fight. These are our people. God hear and answer prayer.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Speaking of Christian Fundamentalism...


Some interesting conversations going on at the moment... check out armybarmy blog for more on the 'fundamentalists' description... on another note in that same vein the issue of abortion has come up a lot lately. I say in the 'same vein' because often those of us in support of pro-life are also labelled 'narrow-minded fundamentalists' so I figure while we are on the subject I'd share just how narrow-minded I can be too!
;-)
This is an interesting subject really... I guess mostly because I've been extremely passionate about LIFE - and am deeply pro-life (president of the club in one town I lived). Now, I'm in the social justice field AND abortion isn't on the list of issues... someone asked me why. Good question. Not only that, but another person from another territory asked how we can keep 'social justice' from being highjacked by moral issues like abortion - while I understand what they meant this also set me thinking. Add to this an SA periodical (pipeline issue November 07 pg 14)where the General is quoted, "there are situations in which abortion is the lesser evil". Wow. I'm assuming he means in situations of medical emergencies - like when it's a life versus a life decision. I wouldn't call that an 'abortion' by the way. But still, another reminder of what a critical issue pro-life really is. Here are some things I'm thinking about:

1. Either we (meaning the SA) are pro-life or we are not. I'm a little tired of the ambiguity of the SA on this issue. If we believe in the sacredness of life we must believe in basic human rights for all people - including the unborn. Surely this means even when in utero?!

2. The same principles of pro-life apply to every social justice issue:
-basic human rights (the right to live is a key one)
-individual focus verses community responsibility (this is a great driver of a consumer driven mentality of western cultures - our own 'convenience' is more important than the rights of another)
-voiceless people (those who cannot stand up for themselves... surely the poor, marginalized, and the unborn fit this category).
-the sacredness of life (regardless of colour, race, and age!?)

3. Does an issue have to be 'popular' for us to be 'for it'? The Catholics are a great example of this - they have been fiercely pro-life the last 50 years even in the face of great public displeasure... John Paul II had some amazing thoughts on the subject (and is largely responsible for many of my leanings in that respect). And I wondered when people stopped talking about the Jews in public during the pre-war Germany, Nazi regime rise (I know this will label me 'extreme' in my comparisons but really, when thousands of people started to just 'disappear' and bringing it up became unbearable uncomfortable because of popular opinion - who brought it up?).

4. Why is bringing it up so hard? And why is bringing it up labelled as 'off' or 'extreme'?

I've got a hunch that the enemy is happy about killing 50% of the next generation off before they even drew a breath. And I've got a suspicion he's thrilled that the church is scared to bring it up - I suppose more scared of popular opinion than of God. I want to say I'm not - but the truth of the matter is that it's a costly issue to stand up for. It's costly with the organization - because of a need to be compassionate and palpable. It's costly with the public - because of a need to present Jesus as 'for you' and 'not against you' - WHICH HE IS!!! And, I'm not sure how we get so confused as to think that giving permission is like giving love... it's pretty clear that boundaries for children are a loving thing not a condemning thing... It's costly to your social life - try bringing it up at a party! and it's costly to your spirit... to not speak up for those who have no voice. And it's costly to our social justice voice - if we can only find it about issues that are popular or 'sexy'!

So, those are some thoughts.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Injustice, kids and slum surviving...

Had the great opportunity to go to a public school today (hat tip JW) and talk about injustice and global poverty. The class was doing 'slum survivor' for the day - which is a great program where you can experience what's it's like to live in a developing world 'slum'.
We talked about root causes of poverty and then began to brainstorm about what WE could do about it... the thing I love about kids is that they get it. One of them suggested that the reason we don't often like to see poverty is that if we were to take a good hard look we'd feel compelled to act. Nice one.
Others made the great suggestion that the way to combat poverty is to give more! Simple - but effective. Speaking of giving... what are you getting for Christmas this year - there are lots of JUSTGifts available at justsalvos.com - check 'em out!
Grace.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Post Connections Wonder...


So I've been wondering about what will come of Connections.

Not that it hasn't already born fruit - but what will be the long-term effects of thousands of Salvationists gathering to critically engage and connect with deep issues, theological truths, God Himself and the community of Australia?

I had a great opportunity to address the nation along with The Salvation Army Southern Territory Salvationists (estimates are about 4000 folks were there) on the issue of human trafficking.

I'm wondering out-loud if that is enough pressure to create some action on behalf of the government to release Federal funding and change the VISA specifics to protect human trafficked survivors in Aus? I'm praying it will.

Not only that - but I'm also praying that it wouldn't just be once every 10 or 15 years we march for social justice... I say we pick up the pace...

just wondering if those who felt God call them to officership will go home and sell off their stuff and come?

just wondering if those who picked up Fairtrade start up kits will visit the cafes and retailers in their local communities and ask them to stock fairtrade?

just wondering if those who heard Jesus' voice calling them to salvation will run the race with perseverance?

just wondering if those who were inspired to stand up for social justice will go home and infect their Corps with the same spirit?

just wondering... I'm not doubting - I'm dreaming that this gathering would bear fruit - and fruit that will last!
God speed.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A message for Australia


We had a great time at connections this past weekend. Some really, good opportunities for Christ - including a time at Melbourne Federation Square with around 3000 Salvationists and some Media gathered to hear what we had to say.
Among other things we had a chance to tell Australia as a nation that it was time to END HUMAN TRAFFICKING NOW!
In 2001 Australia was one of 100 countries that signed the UN Trafficking Protocol (Palermo Protocol). In that was a promise that they would:
1. provide for survivors of trafficking
2. protect victims and potential victims from trafficking
3. prosecute those responsible for trafficking

Although in 2003 Australia released an anti-trafficking package - it has done VERY little to make good it's promise to the world.

We resolved as The Salvation Army to help Australia keep her promise and were able to remind the nation of how they could start to END TRAFFICKING NOW!
We suggested two immediate steps:
1. immediate federal funding for safe houses (protection for survivors of trafficking)
2. immediate VISA classification for trafficking survivors - this is in desperate need of revision...

needless to say it was quite a vision - I've a feeling Booth would be proud.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on the fruit of the declaration... God willing it will help to create change and make a way for those caught in the clutches of trafficking to get free and stay that way! God grant it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Saved to Save


Saved2Save training school is based on Jesus command “Freely you have received; freely give!” (Matt 10:8)

S2S is not so much a traditional bible school as a place for personal experience of biblical truth. We can only give to others what we have received personally and experienced for ourselves.

S2S aims to equip and train young and old to serve the Lord on a voluntary basis.
S2S can be viewed as a training resource for the front-line people, the pioneers in God’s Kingdom. We are looking for those who, beside their ordinary work, want to give their time towards building God’s Kingdom. Sweden, Scandinavia and Europe, the most secularized part of the world, are in desperate need for Gods truth and the Gospel of Jesus. Therefore;

The vision of S2S is to:
Recruit people passionate to live incarnational christianity in Europe.
Help them experience deep and full salvation.
Train them to save others.
Send them out to serve, especially to plant outposts.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Buy Nothing Day...


Stand up against the mindless consumerism of the Holiday season, if only for one day. The day after Thanksgiving, the biggest shopping day of the year (at least in the US of A), BUY NOTHING unless you absolutely have to (i.e. food). Instead, take some time to think about why you buy the things you do and how your money and attenction can be used elsewhere in your life.

http://www.adbusters.org/home/



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buy_Nothing_Day

Monday, November 19, 2007

Covenant

Steve and I have been preparing for our Connections session on covenant and commitment - it's a fascinating topic really: here's a sample of Wesley's Covenant:

Wesley's Covenant, 1780, 1/3
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"Commit yourselves to Christ as his servants. Give yourselves to him, that you may belong to him. Christ has many services to be done. Some are more easy and honorable, others are more difficult and disgraceful. Some are suitable to our inclinations and interests, others are contrary to both. In some we may please Christ and please ourselves. But then there are other works where we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves.

"It is necessary, therefore, that we consider what it means to be a servant of Christ. Let us, therefore, go to Christ, and pray: "Let me be your servant, under your command. I will no longer be mine own. I will give up myself to your will in all things. "Be satisfied that Christ shall give you your place and work.

"Lord, make me what you will. I put myself fully into your hands: put me to doing, put me to suffering, let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you, let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and with a willing heart give it all to your pleasure and disposal."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

10 plagues and a new knowledge


A great twist on the deliverance story of the Israelites from the Egyptians (more from Peterson). He suggests that the 10 plagues were not so much about judgment on Egypt but an exposing of the lie of Egypt's sovereignty for the Israelites.
They had only known captivity - and the best thing they could ever imagine was the best of Egypt... God had to rip the facade off and expose Egypt as a fraud - empty, lacking and powerless in order to allow them to dream of another kind of world.
It led me to think about what Gunilla Eckberg (Swede who helped form Sweden's laws around gender and trafficking) says are the keys to changing a nation:
The First? to imagine a different world.

This is what God is having to do again, and again for His people. Sometimes the only dreams we can image are the droning screen flickers of a godless world (a new kind of power)... so we say, "imagine having a flat screen TV or a lot of money - or a great job (which means a lot of money) and a nice house and two cars (really, nice new ones)" AND we lack Divine imagination... sometimes the only way to be free from them (fake dreams) is to expose them for the sham that they are... those lives are empty and lack imagination... I'm asking God to keep lifting my eyes to a new world - a better world... I want to be able to imagine a world where women don't have to sell their bodies for bread, children have enough to eat - and evil men are stopped in their tracks by just laws and nations who uphold them. I'm dreaming, with my eyes open- and pray that God would continue to expose the enemies fake world so that God can invite us to journey into a new, promise land... it's a deliverance that includes a wrenching of all that is of Egypt in me... do it Lord.

Monday, November 12, 2007

More from Peterson...

So Peterson is talking about how we recognize the resurrected Christ at work in the world... and mentions that the poor (those on the edges of society) recognized Christ - they got it, right away (in contrast to the elite and religious who clearly didn't get it). He says this:
"Given the importance that we, in our society, give to celebrity endorsements, this means that we need to pay serious attention to other voices. The men and women who are going to be most valuable to us in cultivating fear-of-the-Lord wonder are most likely going to be people on the edge of respectability: the poor, minorities, the suffering and rejected, poets and children."

I'm not sure about you - but I want to make sure my friend list is full of the likes of those that will help me capture the ressurected wonder of Christ! I'm praying for friends in 'low' places.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Christ Plays In Ten Thousand Places


The book I'm currently reading, subtitled 'a conversation in spiritual theology' by Eugene Peterson is a fantastic challenge. Here are a few quotes so far:
"The end of all Christian belief and obedience, witness and teaching, marriage and family, leisure and work life, preaching and pastoral work is the living of everything we know about God: life, life, and more life."

"It is the task of the Christian community to give witness and guidance in the living of life in a culture that is relentless in reducing, constricting, and enervating this life."

On spiritual theology (in explaining the use of the terms):
"'Spiritual' keeps 'theology' from degenerating into merely thinking and talking and writing about God at a distance. 'Theology' keeps 'spiritual' from becoming merely thinking and talking and writing about the feelings and thoughts one has about God The two words need each other, for we know how easy it is for us to let our study of God (theology) get separated from the way we live; we also know how easy it is to let our desires to live whole and satisfying lives (spiritual lives) get disconnected from who God actually is and the ways he works among us."

Needless to say... I've been challenged. Wonderfully challenged.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Rob Bell on social action...


Are we doing too much social action and forgotten about evangelism?

I think that sort of question comes from a person who is in exile. It's the kind of questions you are left with when you have missed Gods purposes in the world. Bill Gates is giving millions and millions of dollars aid in Africa, and billions of dollars to great causes around the world, because the church didn?t beat him to it.

We are always telling people about Jesus. We are telling people about Jesus with our actions and we are telling people about Jesus with our inaction. So we are always evangelising. We are always announcing who Jesus is. We are always communicating with everything we do whether we believe that the tomb is empty or not.

Resurrection is a whole way of life and the term evangelism can be very destructive, because it gives people the idea that we are supposed to be doing this "thing" over here. If you are a grandma and I meet you in the street, it won't be long and you would have whipped out the latest photos of the grand kids. This is because you naturally and instinctively tell people what you love. If you love golf, I will know. If you are trusting in Jesus more and more each day, then your relationship with Jesus, you walk with Christ, what you see Jesus doing in the world, you will naturally witness to this, how could you stay silent.

So when people say, "what are you doing for evangelism training"? We are introducing people to Jesus. What has happened is that churches have given people actions. There are the three questions you have to ask or there's four points on this pamphlet, to do something that is supposed to be the most natural, free-flowing, I can't not tell you my story. I also think that this isn't a pendulum. The Kingdom of God is not a left or a right. The Kingdom of God is not liberal or conservative. We are conditioned to think in dualities. Is that liberal or conservative? Is that Post-Modern or Modern? Is that emerging or non-emerging? We are conditioned to think in this way.

The Kingdom of God is truth and life. So the Kingdom of God plunders anyone's agenda for good and true. So some people say that sounds like a such and such cause. If it is true it belongs to God. So when people say you are taking care of the poor, what about Jesus. If you start studying the bible you may neglect the injustices of the world. The Kingdom of God is anywhere that the rule and reign of God is expanding on earth.

At Mars Hill we are not reacting we are embracing the fullness of the Kingdom. We are saying that word and deed are all expressions. So whether you are having coffee with someone telling them that on the cross you believe that God was reconciling all things on heaven and earth and you look across the table and you say "I believe that means you too" or you are somewhere with you sleeves rolled up caring for people across the spectrum to build this house or to bring water to these folks it is all what it means to live in the fullness of the Kingdom.

ht:pl

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Speeches that shaped the modern world


I was reading this book (Speeches That Shaped the Modern World by Alan J Whiticker) on the plane last night - and it was surprisingly captivating.
I say this because I've come to play-down the art of rhetoric. Leading a 'cell-based' Corps I started to see the powerful form of questions and conversation over the popular typical Christian form of a 'sermon' which is a monologue-lecture that seeks to teach but in a style that isn't the most transforming or even useful. After conversing with some Cadets and new officers who were spending large amounts of their week preparing for a 30 minute monologue to people whose lives weren't changed much by it - I realized the massive waste of time we commit to a deed that has proven less then best... (someone could remind you of the definition of insanity here...)

"Socrates said (as quoted in Plato's Gorgias), "rhetoric... is the artificer of a persuasion which creates belief about the just and unjust, but gives no instruction about them..."
Aristotle (philosopher and mathematician) studied the use of language as a tool of persuasion. In The Rhetoric, he argues that rhetoric is neither good nor bad, but an art form. Plato claimed that 'the rhetorician need not know the truth about things; he only has to discover some way of persuading the ignorant that he has more knowledge than those who know...'"

Although ancient, these 'wise guys' were already understanding the limits of rhetoric. I'm realizing them by experience... Jesus had a wonderful mixture of rhetoric, questions, stories and life - the author of this book quotes the sermon on the mount (Matt. 5) as the most revolutionary speech of all time. I agree.

Stay tuned for some great quotes of some famous speeches that shaped the world. But even more impressive are lives that have touched the world and people who share their whole lives with the world and see transformation. God grant the mixture of Jesus to us.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Not For Sale


I'm currently reading the book Not For Sale by David Batstone (also a documentary well worth watching). I'd recommend you check out the website - it's got some great ideas for local advocacy (some stuff is American but some of it is global).
He offers a realistic yet hopeful look at the global slave trade and how we can fight it.
"That, in fact, was the unexpected surprise of my journey to monitor the rise of modern global slavery. I had steeled myself emotionally to end up in the depths of depression and despair. To be honest, I made some unpleasant stops in my journey. The day I went undercover to investigate a brothel in Phnom Pehn, for instance, broke my heart... but my journey did not end at the station of despair. The prime reason: I met a heroic ensemble of abolitionists who simply refuse to relent. I felt like I had gone back in time and had the great privilege of sharing a meal with a Harriet Tubman or a William Wilberforce or a Frederick Douglass. Like the abolitionists of old, these modern heroes do not expend their energy handicapping the odds stacked against the antislavery movement. They simply refuse to accept a world where one individual can be held as the property of another."

I'm praying to Be A Hero... want to join me?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Women Are Worth More


Some good news in Western Australian, where a bill to decriminalise brothels has been delayed in the Lower House, which is now in recess for two weeks.

The delays have drawn the ire of some sex workers (click here to see article in yesterday’s The Australian ) but mean there is more time to campaign against the legislation. Please click here http://www.makeastand.org.au/campaign/index.stw?campaign_id=8 and send off an email to voice your opposition to the legislation. More than 1200 emails have now been sent to WA politicians as part of this campaign.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

we are not bound...


“You are not bound by any stereotyped or antiquated notions. What is being done in Europe or America, or what has been done in India, or what is being done at present need not be any rule to you, unless you can see it calculated to gain the end you have in view.

Go, my comrades, and pray, and look about you, and thus acquaint yourselves with local modes of thought and feeling and action, and then adapt yourselves to them, so far as adaption shall be consistent with the doctrines of the Bible and the principles of The Salvation Army.

William Booth

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Australian Website for Federal Election

The Salvation Army in Australia has published some Federal Election Statements... these have been given to all the parties and government reps in the nation to let them know what we think are the keys to good governing in the future... all six recommendations are for the 'poor and marginalized' who often get left out at election time. CHECK THEM OUT AT JUSTSALVOS.COM (or your local Corps in AUS).

To accompany that effort - discussion guides have gone to every SA Corps and Centre in the nation to help Salvos critically think through why and how they vote.
How often do people vote for themselves... our hope is that by helping inform Salvos of the social imbalance in Australia (1 in 10 live below the poverty line) they will rise up to consider the plight of others and not just their own tax breaks this year.

Here's another guide that can help aid your voting:

With four weeks to go until the federal election, the ACL today launched a website that will inform hundreds of thousands of Christians throughout Australia – including many in marginal seats – about the different political party standpoints on key issues you care about.

The parties have taken a lot of time to answer our questions carefully and specifically in the midst of a very busy election campaign. Unfortunately, the Greens declined to respond to the questions.

The website www.australiavotes.org provides the responses of six political parties, including the Coalition and Labor, to 25 questions of interest to Christians ranging from homelessness and refugees to family life and abortion. All responses are in the parties' own words, without any comment or alteration by ACL.

The website includes:

responses from the parties to ACL's questions on key topic areas;
information on how MPs and Senators voted in the two recent conscience votes on the abortion drug RU486 and on cloning;
an election resources page where you can download DVDs explaining the voting system, watch the 'Make it Count' webcast speeches by the PM and Opposition Leader, and visit other sites offering comment on this election;
details of our upcoming Meet Your Candidates Forums, which will be added to the website as they are finalised. Please keep checking the site over the coming weeks.

We hope this site will assist you personally, but we also encourage you to pass the link on to all your friends and, importantly, to ask your church leader to send it out on your church email list.

We have provided a powerpoint slide promoting the site which your church might wish to consider showing on Sunday. You can assure your church leaders that www.australiavotes.org is completely non party partisan and is a valuable service that the church can make others aware of as Christians consider their vote at this important time.

Please visit the site and recommend it to your friends and to your church.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fully Alive


Not sure if I mentioned justsalvos.com? It's online now.. you'll want to check it out!
Also, had a great time today in prayer for trafficked victims... I was reminded by God of His great concern for each of us. He made us in His image... every one of us - and somehow it offered me some assurance that His care was so intricate and personal... I can't imagine His suffering over the millions of his children in bondage right now. Two of my favourite saints (St. Francis and Mother Theresa) prayed to exerience the depth of Jesus' suffering (inspired by Paul to KNOW Him in His suffering)... God answered both of them in some painful ways - and yet both exuded His presence and joy... perhaps I'm still to immature to understand the implications but I'm not quite there yet... I am thankful that I can feel - there was a time I was stuck on 'happy' but it was an artificial emotion - God finally broke in and revealed the depth of His heart to me and gave me the revelation that to be alive means to FEEL all different kinds of emotion... then being sad took on new meaning - anger new energy - and joy new levels. Perhaps that early church father was on to something when he said, 'the glory of God is man fully alive'.
Anyway, I'm beliving that our Father wants His children FREE - all of them. God grant it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

BRAND NEW BLOG - check it out!


JUSTSALVOS National is an Australian blog of social justice types blogging some meaty stuff!
Check it out at:

This blog will also be a feature on justsalvos.com (going live today!!). Check it out.

PunkMonk


Bono says that he agreed to champion the Jubilee Campaign because he'd at last found in it a strategic outworking for his unbridled idealism. "Nothing is worse," he says, "than a bleeding heart without a plan." Too many of us are at postgraduate level in conversational Christianity and theoretical theology, with no heart-intention of actually doing the stuff we discuss. We talk endlessly about justice, mission, prayer, echatology or shapes of church, but we simply don't know where to start when it comes to actually doing anything to make a difference. An effective idealist is someone who dares to turn ideas into lists - she may have an impossible dream, but she also has a next step that is entirely possible. (page 98)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

JustSalvos update

If you are around canada in March - you will not want to miss RAW in the dtes of Vancouver.
Here is the postcard - check it out... a must GO forsure.

If you haven't joined in the fun down under - get ready!
JUSTLose wants to reach 100 teams.... lots of room - join today (justsalvos.com)
Also, FREEDOM FRIDAYS is now ON in Australia... if you want to join the JUSTPray community by fasting and praying every Friday at noon for the victims of human trafficking join in - email justsalvos@aus.salvationarmy.org and write Freedom Fridays in the subject line - we'll email you a prayer directive every second week to help you pray!

The FAIRTRADE PRINCIPLE has now been adopted by The Salvation Army Southern Territory - have you tried out Fairtrade coffee/tea and chocolate (to start)? I've got a great wholesale connection and will have start-up kits for every Corps and Centre in the Territory ready by Connections. So, faze out your old unjust supplies and get ready to restock with mouth watering JUSTICE! For even more information on fairtrade check out: fairtrade.com.au

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stir Your World 2007

COME ON! Why not register a JUSTLose team at justsalvos.com TODAY! Stir. Stir. Stir.

Look for God


Saw this quote on the bottom of a friend's email and loved it (ht:rl)!
"Look for God. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stop The Traffik - Home Delivery

let's stop the traffik!
you can help now:
join Freedom Fridays (prayer and fasting Fridays at noon) email justsalvos@aus.salvationarmy.org

Have you started JUSTLose?
go to justsalvos.com to get started... don't wait - help change the world.

Australia's Federal Election


Stay tuned for the Australian SA Election guides (things to think about before you vote - coming very soon to your Corps/Community). Also, news from the ACL (Australia Christian Lobby) Federal election 2007:
Bringing a Christian influence to bear

The official Federal election campaign got underway this week with the Liberal/Nationals Coalition clawing back some ground in the polls but with Labor still in an election-winning position.

ACL is non-party partisan and it is our aim to help Christians cast a vote for the candidate of their choice who best reflects Christian values. It is vital that, as a constituency, we engage in the election campaign and take a close interest in who will represent us in the next Federal Parliament.

A great way to do this is to attend an ACL Meet Your Candidates Forum. These will roll out across about 50 electorates and details will be available soon.

Another key strategy to assist Christians will be the launch next week of an exciting interactive website containing the parties’ responses to 25 key questions of Christian concern. The parties have provided us with 250-word answers to each question. The issues range from poverty, refugees and climate change to abortion, family issues and sexual exploitation.

While not yet launched, this initiative has attracted media interest from The Australian, The Bulletin, the ABC’s 7:30 Report and the Australian Financial Review. Look out for the launch next week and for more details in next Friday’s ACL e-news.

While on the topic of the election, John Howard and Kevin Rudd will participate in a special election debate this Sunday night at 7.30 pm at Parliament House, which will be broadcast by Sky News, the ABC and the Nine Network. This provides a further opportunity to learn more about the two leaders views and policies so that you can make an informed vote.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fantastic new IHQ position on prostitution laws and trafficking


"Prostitution Laws and Trafficking

The Salvation Army does not have a formal positional statement on prostitution laws. However, in recent months I have taken the opportunity to discuss the matter with a number of people, and to read around the subject. We are asked from time to time where we stand on this important issue.

A summary of the views hitherto taken, approved by the General, October 2007, is as follows:

'The Salvation Army believes that women and men in prostitution should not be seen as criminal offenders by virtue of their activities in the sex trade industry. Many are drawn into prostitution by reason of poverty, ignorance or coercion. However, The Salvation Army does not wish to see prostitution treated or regarded as a normative or acceptable practice, or as a socially or morally legitimate career choice by any person. Legalisation of the sex trade unintentionally but inevitably creates a social climate in which those engaged in human trafficking can expand their industry, making it difficult for the police to intervene, even though advocates for legalisation claim that licensing gives more safety and protection. The Salvation Army has not campaigned publicly on the issue of prostitution laws because it wishes to maintain its position of trust with persons, especially women, in prostitution. However, the Army takes a stance against decriminalisation of any commercial exploitation of women or men for sexual purposes. The Army also supports measures to criminalise the activities of clients in the sex trade industry.'

This information will be posted on the Anti-trafficking Task Force LN Database, which is now run by Commissioner Christine Macmillan.

Commissioner Helen Clifton
World President of Women's Ministries"
a great article about the failed legalisation of prostitution in Australia here:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dreaming at Anti-Poverty Forum...


The Salvation Army sponsored an anti-poverty forum today.
Leaders in the field spoke powerfully on behalf of the 10% of Australians left out of the 'dream' and subject to poverty - and it's horrible results.
David Eldridge delivered it well - poverty is not God's idea... indeed, it can and should be eradicated. He spoke about our need to realise that it's in our power to end it. Homelessness and poverty can be finished.
I agree with him. As a matter of fact on yesterday at the Melbourne Central Division officer's day we spoke of widening our dreams... re-imagining the world as God would want it. And then posturing ourselves to live the dream.
We broke open Commissioner Knaggs dream for the SA in Australia and began to imagine what they would look like in real life... how do we put legs (strategies) on the body of a dream... we walk it out. Jesus was the legs on the body of God's redemption dream.
The question begs to be asked: are you living the dream?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pray For Burma

The National Council of Churches in Australia is writing to request your support for and promotion of a national day of prayer for Burma on Sunday, October 21.

The images of tens of thousands of Burmese monks, nuns and civilians marching in the cities of Burma, has highlighted the tragic situation facing millions of people in Burma today: brutal crackdowns on any opposition to the military regime, the forced labour of women and children, child slavery and extrajudicial killings.

The courageous leadership shown by the religious leaders of Burma is a call to us all in the international religious communities to stand with them in solidarity. As people of religion, this joining together to share in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Burma is a powerful act of showing solidarity.

We believe now is the time that Christians can come together to pray for change in Burma and to express our compassion and solidarity for those who live in a climate of fear. Now is the time for us to be the voice for the voiceless for those who have been repressed, incarcerated and silenced in Burma .

Below are some possible prayers that could be used or adapted for use by your churches on October 21. A range of events and interfaith initiatives are being proposed for later in the day. In Sydney , an interfaith gathering followed by a peace procession is being organi s ed to commence at Martin Place at 1:00pm.

It would be a strong message to have many people of faith who could participate in this interfaith gathering and procession to send a strong message to all governments that Australians are concerned about what is happening in Burma . We would greatly appreciate it if you could promote this event in your churches this coming Sunday October 14 .

Updated information about the interfaith gathering proposed in Sydney on October 21 as well as other initiatives planned around the country will be available on the NCCA website www.ncca.org.au and Caritas Australia website www.caritas.org.au . If you would like to put a link on your website it would be appreciated.

We would ask if you could encourage all your churches to participate in this national day of prayer for Burma .

Some Suggested Prayers for Burma:
We pray for peace and justice in Burma . We pray that the Burmese rulers may respect their people, and that the people may be given greatness of spirit in their struggle to live free from fear. We pray for a prosperous Burma in which all the people may live with dignity.

We pray for the Christians of Burma , that they may be faithful to their calling to represent their society with kindness and peace. We pray in thanks for the lives of the monks who have died and the courage of those who have been tortured for their faithfulness to the teaching. May their lives not be wasted but be the bricks out of which a new Burma is built.

We pray for the poor of Burma that they may find respect for their humanity. May they come to live in a nation that is governed for the good of all , where people of different cultures and languages can live as equal citizens of a shared land. May the present struggle lead to a free Burma .

We pray with those who struggle to build a better and more humane society in Burma . May they find strength to continue to live by their large hopes, and may our solidarity with them give them encouragement. We pray that the seed of freedom that has been watered with blood may spring green for all the people of Burma .

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Teenage affluenza is spreading fast.

A much watch! hattip Christy Jessop!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Above All Worship Video with Lyrics

Lord, help us to recognise your sovereign power!

Open Letter to AUS Elected Officials

In response to the immigration attitudes/limits from AUS government the letter below was drafted by Matthew Phillips
Refugee Working Group Coordinator
Darfur Australia Network
www.darfuraustralia.org (IT's A Great Letter!).

An open letter to our elected officials
We wish to offer our support to members of the various African communities across Australia.

We believe that decisions regarding Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program should be determined on the basis of need for humanitarian assistance, rather than perceptions or assumptions about a group’s capacity to resettle or integrate.

We are concerned that the decision to halt consideration of further claims by African refugees for resettlement through the Humanitarian Program (for the current financial year) will threaten their chances for family reunion.

We urge all Australians, particularly our elected representatives, to stand up in support of African refugees who have resettled in Australia, to support their further resettlement and family reunification, and to strengthen services that make the transition to Australia easy.

We celebrate the positive contribution African refugees make to Australia – to our communities, our workplaces, our economy, our culture and our society.

We pay tribute to the many African Australians who contribute to the wider community voluntarily and professionally - as doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, carers, engineers, scientists, primary industry workers and in many other occupations.

We believe it is our responsibility to provide protection to refugees regardless of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, political opinion and despite limited previous access to education.
Since World War II, over 600,000 people from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa or the Americas have been granted refuge in Australia on the basis of humanitarian need. For over a decade, Australia has provided safe haven to thousands of refugees fleeing persecution and civil conflict in African countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many have survived torture and trauma, yet have embraced their new home despite the many challenges that face them on arrival, including separation from family
and loved ones overseas.

We strongly believe that multiculturalism is vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities.
We are proud that Australia has the capacity and will to provide protection and a new home to people fleeing persecution.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Freedom Fridays


Sometimes for things like Sexual Human Trafficking we feel paralyzed. But as Christians we have something we can always 'do' even when we feel there is not much else.
We can pray.
There are over 50 people committed to fasting and praying every Friday at noon (that's not counting the Canadians who are already doing this) - just from one good meeting (as of Thursday last week)... I'm sure there are more. Every other week you will receive a prayer directive to help you pray. I believe that if we call upon the Lord - He will act on behalf of the victims of human trafficking. Anyone else want to join up to Freedom Fridays?
I've heard of young people praying at school during lunch on Fridays - women of all ages booking the Corps sanctuaries for fasting and prayer and countless other individuals who go without lunch to identify with the pain of victims and spend extra time on Fridays asking God for His intervention. Want to be counted among them? join up today at justsalvos@aus.salvationarmy.org (type freedom fridays in the subject line and you are officially in!).
Let's pray and then believe God is going to expose, free, and bust open some darkness so light can pour in...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Live The Dream.


Extraordinaire Spiritual Leader Commissioner Jim Knaggs shared a vision from God - it's a KIngdom sized one... I'm thrilled to be in a place where I can help live it out... there is no perishing for lack of vision in this part of the world! Now, to live the life. Here it is: read it, pray it, live it...

The Salvation Army will in its entirety, be what God wants it to be…

…that every soldier, young and old would be sanctified through and through…and out of the passion of their love in Christ, would be an undeniable force for God’s love in the world.

…that this love would be seen between each soldier to demonstrate that God has sent His Son into the world not to condemn it, but that the world through Him might be saved…and by this would all people know that we are His followers and represent Him.

…that our love would be seen through intentional and overt acts of mercy and justice, all the while in humility before God, not needing to publish our works, only doing them to glorify God.

…that our mission would have such integrity that every expression of our ministry would be marked not so much by a red shield or even a crest, but by the love of God for people.

…that every corps would embrace the gospel for everyone in their community, not discriminating by culture, language, social status, or age…and that the helping ministries would be woven into the fabric so that even under a nuclear microscope we could not distinguish between spiritual and social.

…that every social programme would be inviting to any one in need to be helped towards eternal affect, still maintaining our resolve to dispense such love indiscriminately and unconditionally…and that their connections with the corps ministries become seamless to the point that they would become a type of corps in their own right.

…that we would have effective ministries to eradicate homelessness, human trafficking, prostitution and other indecencies currently common in our society.

…that our social programme strategy will be based upon the needs of people in the context of Biblical mandate, not necessarily the offerings of government contracts.

…that headquarters support units would be understood as such, not diminishing their purposes for accountability, but wholly in the context of authentic support and encouragement.

…that programmes such as Salvo Stores and Employment plus would also become saving stations for the lost and fully integrated into the mission of the territory.

…that Salvo Stores and the Trade become responsible outlets for Fair Trade goods.

…that our commercial department at THQ become a resource and focal point for facilitating our increasing efforts in Fair Trade.

…that the Family Tracing Service be expanded to find those souls who have been lost to the Army, assisting in bringing them home, where they belong.

…that we would never have another day in our existence where someone was not brought to Christ.

…that our soldiers roll would only be an increasing reality as would our worship and discipleship meetings.

…that the proliferation of new ministry openings would be so common and normal that we would have to appoint personnel just to keep track of it, most often after the fact.

…that those gifted with creative ministry gifts would have every opportunity to employ these very skills in the work of the Army.

…that our worship would be filled with creative means to celebrate God’s provisions and presence among us.

…that our 24/7 Prayer Initiatives will be adopted by individual corps throughout the territory all the time.

…that we would establish Lighthouses of Prayer to cover our neighbourhoods with grace.

…that we would have numerous prayer destinations where people could go for prayer retreats, learning opportunities and resources.

…that our systems would be less restrictive and more imaginative to accommodate the new things God wants to do among us.

…that as a movement, we would be marked by holiness in corporate and individual praxis.

…that there would be such an out pouring of the Spirit upon us that we would be courageous and effective witnesses in our families, communities, cities, Australia and the world.

…that our compassion would be large enough to be understood as authentically global throughout what we do at home and abroad.

…that our people would be quick to respond to the voice of God for whatever He calls them to.

…that our officer training programmes would be taxed by the unusual response of the called to serve as officers in TSA.

…that our local officers would be so empowered to understand their foundational role in the corps ministries and fully embrace the priesthood of all believers.

…that our women would have appointments and responsibilities commensurate with their gifts, abilities and experience.

…that our young people would be filled with the Spirit and recognised as contributors in the fight.

…that our children would be welcomed as authentic soldiers with proper opportunities to celebrate the presence of Christ in their lives and in their environments.

…that an extraordinary forgiveness and healing of past sins and hurts would prevail upon all people victimised by our practises or inattention.

…that God would see that we love Him supremely through Christ and that our reliance on the Holy Spirit completes His hope in us.

…that God would see that we love Him absolutely and are expressing our love for Him by our active love for others.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Australia Southern Territory goes FAIRTRADE


The Australian Southern Territory has officially announced that they are starting the Fairtrade journey by instituting a policy that all SA units will use fairtrade hot beverages.... it is a start to a long walk to equal distribution in the world - but what a powerful thing it will be. Stay tuned for more specific details - suffice to say - YEAH GOD!

Refugees and Australia...


In Countries (like Australia) with so much wealth and so much room - WOW! What can we do???
Write to your MP AND sponsor a refugee family (or at least get to know one!).

A freeze on the settlement of refugees from Africa - including those from Sudan's Darfur region - has been announced by the Australian government.
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said the refugees had trouble integrating, and other parts of the world such as Iraq and Burma were greater priorities.
The freeze will last until mid-2008, and there are no guarantees that Africans will be admitted after then.
Critics say it is a pre-election pitch to immigration-wary voters.

Mr Andrews said refugees from Sudan and conflict-torn Darfur were having problems integrating into Australian communities, and that trouble spots closer to home should take priority.
To that end, Africans are being replaced in the humanitarian refugee programme by people fleeing Iraq and Burma.

'Xenophobic' jibe
Australia has accepted or is processing about 3,900 Africans this year - 30% of its total refugee intake.
Just two years ago they made up 70% of the total.
Critics have accused the government of a pre-election move to appeal to xenophobic voters, and they have also said it is absolutely wrong to argue that Africans are failing to integrate.
One community leader said they were making an immense contribution to the economy by taking jobs which many Australians simply did not want to do.

Certainly, there is a nativistic streak in parts of the Australian electorate.
In previous campaigns the Prime Minister John Howard government has benefited from concerns over immigration - especially in regional seats.
Only last year the town of Tamworth in New South Wales voted against hosting a trial refugee resettlement programme after the Sudanese were branded as criminals by the local mayor.
So fierce was the condemnation that the council was forced to reverse that decision.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Great Poem!

A friend sent me this inspired by a word from God on waking up from the slumber of the culture of comfort... I say, bring it on Jesus - keep me awake at all costs!

i don’t want to fall asleep again
i’ve spent so long just trying to wake up
whatever it takes
driving down a dark highway
falling asleep at the wheel
i crank the tunes, stick my face out in the freezing wind
and scream with everything in me

i scream to ward off the slumber that rises
it always tries to creep in and rolls over
like a cozy blanket next to a fire
so inviting and mesmerizing
when eyes begin to blur and droop
lulled by the distant roar and familiarity

the blast of cold air catches in my lungs
and i gasp, the scream rising again
i get uncomfortable as my fingers
begin to turn blue gripping the wheel
window open in the dead of winter
and I am fully alive

a legion of eye-candy invades my senses
and tries to rock me to sleep in its arms
yet I begin to kick with one foot and then the other
and before I know it I’m running fast
and far away from its false comfort

knowing pain because it keeps me awake
sharpens my senses and my eyes discern
the very slumber that tried to turn me away
now its time to rob the grave
and breathe life on the bones that lay sleeping
a challenging intrusion
just to remain fully alive
-by Tanya Morrison

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pray For Pakistan...


Leader of The Salvation Army in Pakistan murdered
Colonel Bo Brekke, Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory, was shot and killed yesterday, Thursday 27 September. The incident occurred in the THQ compound in Lahore in the early hours of the evening. Information to date points to an individual act of criminality. There is nothing to suggest that this is related in any way to terrorism. It is reported that a man has been arrested on possibly related charges.

The incident occurred at about 6.30 pm local time while Colonel Brekke was working alone in his office. The colonel’s wife, Colonel Birgitte Brekke, was in London at the time, attending meetings at The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters.

A Norwegian by birth, Bo Brekke, who was 50, was commissioned as a Salvation Army officer in May 1980 and appointed in charge of the Army’s work in Brevik, Norway. The following year he transferred to local Salvation Army leadership in Denmark, the homeland of his wife. After two years in Denmark, Bo and Birgitte returned to Norway and served there until transfer to Sri Lanka at the beginning of 1987. They returned to Norway in 1993, serving there for the next two years.

Having developed a deep love for South Asia and its people, Bo and Birgitte Brekke in August 1995 were appointed as regional leaders to Bangladesh. Under their leadership the work of The Salvation Army flourished there and in 1997 the then Major Bo Brekke was appointed as Officer Commanding, with Birgitte serving alongside him as Command President of Women's Ministries and Command Youth Officer.

The late summer of 2002 saw a further change of culture and working environment as Bo and Birgitte were appointed as divisional leaders of the North Scotland Division in the United Kingdom Territory, followed by service respectively as Chief Secretary and Secretary for Mission Development in the Eastern Europe Territory. It was from there that, almost exactly one year ago (15 September 2006) Colonel Bo Brekke was appointed as Territorial Commander of the Pakistan Territory.

At the time of her husband's death, Colonel Birgitte Brekke was attending meetings at International Headquarters. She immediately flew to Norway to be with her two sons, Benjamin and Bo Christoffer, and other family members. She was accompanied by her sister who had come to London to see Birgitte while she was visiting IHQ.

General Shaw Clifton, world leader of The Salvation Army, said: ‘Colonel Bo Brekke was a Salvation Army leader of unusual and distinctive talents. Both he and his wife, Colonel Birgitte Brekke, were known for their hearts of compassion towards the marginalised. Their service together in many lands has been marked by creativity and imagination in order to reach out to the poor, giving them dignity, and also to share their personal faith as Salvationists in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. I have known the Brekkes for many years and have always admired them greatly. Bo Brekke was my friend. I feel blessed to have known him and to have witnessed first hand how he and Birgitte have faithfully served the needs of others.’

General Shaw Clifton and Commissioner Helen Clifton, World President of Women’s Ministries, will in due course conduct the colonel’s funeral in Oslo, Norway.
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Pray for the family. Pray for the territory. Pray for justice. Pray for the General.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Slave Chocolate.

here's one man who took on the system... any others out there?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

School of Rock


I wondered aloud as I watched The School of Rock last night about the fascinating and effective tool of inclusion that Jack Black employed in his efforts to spread the joy of rock'n roll (ht: nm). I've a hunch he might be on to something strategic. Many people have spoken of the need in this generation to 'belong to believe' instead of the whole 'believe to belong' traditional approach to mission... Jack Black seems to embody this in his technique. From kids, to rockers to principles and parents... Black really embraces them into his 'culture' and wins them over with his passion and zeal - and reckless abandon to rock. I wonder if we were that convinced of our spirituality and freedom if more people might just want to belong and then become believers? Now that would be something to rock out about!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

JUST LOSE NOW!


Register your team today at justsalvos.com - pay date is Jan. 31st... so there is plenty of time to get your team sorted!

Why?
Our excessive pleasures (chocolate, coffee and sex) are what enslave millions of people (mostly children) in the world’s largest slave trade ever. Our excessive behaviour also enslaves us through obesity and desire. This progression of oppression needs to be confronted. As we confront our own enslavement it can lead to freedom for everyone in the cycle. Let’s join together to stop the oppression in our own lives and then share that freedom with those trapped in the current slave trade.

Join a team of people committed to justice. We will shed our excess so that others can be free. To do that we each pay to join a JustLose team and the entry fees are sent to a trafficking project that is freeing those trapped at the other end of the slave chain. This is a friendly competition - a race to freedom. The prize will be fun (there will be a declared winner) but everyone involved will win by breaking the cycles of slavery in an excessive world.

Who?
Team of 10 committed to lose so others can gain.

How Much?
$1,000 per team to enter (that's $100 per person/that's $5 per week)

How?
Each member of the team sets a goal of percentage of body weight to lose (eg, if you are 70kgs and you want to lose 7, that’s 10%)
Everyone is accountable to one another. We suggest a weekly weigh in at your cell group or other weekly get together.
At the end of the time, the team that has lost the highest percentage of body weight ‘wins’.
JustLose is about focus on heath, self-sacrifice and spiritual responsibility. Weight loss should be a combination of exercise/activity and a balanced, healthy diet.
Teams should also consider what lifestyle choices need to be sacrificed for the sake of justice.

Winning
The Corps/Community team that ‘wins’ will have all the entry fees counted towards an earmarked trafficking project that aims to free those caught in the slave trade.

When?
JustLose is run over 5 months every year.

Health Stuff
0.5-1.0 kgs per week is the recommended healthy weight loss. Those with questions and medical conditions should consult their doctor before commencing any weight loss/exercise programme.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Light of the World


Praise the Lord for around 300 Salvationists who gathered on the International Day of Prayer for peace in Melbourne. We contemplated the scriptures, we pleaded with the Lord - young and old, all of us united for one purpose - to ask God for peace. And what a request in these violent days.... we boldly believe for God's Kingdom to come NOW as it is in heaven. I'm working for the reality of the Lion and the Lamb - together. As we left the building we lit our candles and silently witnessed to the power of peace. Following the banner - Peace on Earth and behind us, Jesus Is Our Peace - we prayer walked to the steps of Parliament (past a brothel - surprising a few 'clients' on their way out!) where we spent some time in silent prayers for the victims of violence and war in the world (90% of whom are civilians - mostly women and children). Then we declared ourselves to be peacemakers by reciting together the words of St. Francis - Lord make me an instrument of Thy Peace.
What a grand day for The Salvation Army. We literally were the light of the world - God grant that this is just the beginning of many more opportunites to bring His Kingdom here.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Love


I am convinced that love is the most durable power in the world. It is not an expression of impractical idealism, but of practical realism. Far from being the pious injunction of a Utopian dreamer, love is an absolute necessity for the survival of our civilization. To return hate for hate does nothing but intensify the existence of evil in the universe. Someone must have sense enough and religion enough to cut off the chain of hate and evil, and this can only be done through love.
-Martin Luther King, Jr. 1957

Friday, September 21, 2007

extreme rich-poor divides

(HT:PL) Here’s a quick selection of shocking photos / google maps links to start the day. they all illustrate an extreme degree of wealth divide in different parts of the world.
(above: check out the size of the tennis courts in comparison to the size of the housing on the left)
the shantytown area in the photo is called paraisópolis favela, which bizarrely translates as ‘paradise city’.
CHECK OUT THE SITE FOR MORE: