Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Happy Feet Environment

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Not many think of Antarctica much. Not many would consider the life of a penguin or maybe a polar bear. The movie 'Happy Feet' really taps into the issues that can arise when we don't think of the environment around us. The movie pushes a strong message about fisherman that are taking all the fish, and thus affecting the lives of animals such as penguins.

The news recently reported that polar bears could go extinct soon, due to global warming. There are social issues in our world that are good to be aware of. Personally, I don't understand how I can stop global warming, or change the unjust actions of fisherman, but atleast the World is first starting to become aware of these issues.

I admire the Christians that have been called into making a difference in the arena of social/environmental issues, and pray that God will empower them to create change that will reconcile the World back to Him.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My Christmas time of Giving

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There seems to be nothing better than giving a gift to someone and then see them smile from eye to eye in appreciation. Christmas for me, was a great time to spend with my family, to spend quality time together sharing presents, food and tacky jokes. I really enjoyed giving gifts just as much as receiving them...

The ability to give surpasses the excitement of receiving!

Matthew 1:21 - "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." What an awesome gift God gave to the World? Jesus.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

We will not be a Silent Generation

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We will not be silent. We will not be distracted. We will not lose focus on the mission God has given us. We're the Gen Y generation.

We are passionate. We are bold. We are sometimes loud. We are enthusiastic. We have vision. We have dreams. We will continue fighting until the day of the Lord's return.

We understand people in the past have tried things and failed. We want to try again. We understand that our culture has changed, so we must change. We are willing to try new things. We are willing to pay the price.

We believe strongly in the second blessing of the Holy Spirit. No one will stray us from that belief. We understand that the Holy Spirit's power is greater than anything we have ever seen, and we believe Jesus wants to impart that power to us, when we ask.

Some say we're arrogant and judgemental; but lets not confuse boldness and faith and passion with stupid unrighteousness. We need no longer to be a silent majority. There are many silent, fired up salvationists in our territory, that I believe need to take a stand for passion and vision, so that together we are sold out movement for the salvation of the world.

One thing we can all be sure of, when it comes to the Gen Y's. We WILL NOT BE a SILENT GENERATION!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

CONGRATULATIONS WERRIBEE!

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The news is Fresh! Werribee Salvos have just entered into an agreement to purchase a new Worship Venue in Werribee, called Silver Birches. God is awesome! Let me tell you the story...

For the last 6 years Werribee Salvos have been on the lookout for a bigger property in order to maintain the steady growth of the church. Nothing was happening. Over 6 months ago a place came up, that we thought God might want us to have, but after a whole lot of prayer and paperwork, the franchise, 'Dimmeys' bought out this property. Back to the drawing board. What was God doing? Why wasn't his perfect Will happening??

Then we came upon a Reception Centre for sale (Called Silver Birches), and the wheels started to slowly turn towards this property. My biggest thanks goes out to our senior minister, Cpt. Kevin Lumb, for all the tireless work he has put into making this a reality. I understand others have put much work in, including DHQ and THQ staff, but I know Kev has spent many late nights filling out paperwork and submissions to make it happen, almost to the point of burning the candle to the ground! (Perserverence has paid off Kev, and this inspires us all).

Why didn't we receive the first property from the Lord? He had a better plan for us. Praise God. Never give up on the vision God has placed on your heart, work at it with all your might, in the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

One other thing: God gets all the glory.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Momentum is a Leader's Best Friend

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Do you want to be a part of a Jesus Revolution? You need momentum. Let me explain.

In a close game of cricket, all of a sudden Shane Warne gets a wicket. That's great, but then something happens. The Aussies get excited, they start believing they can get another wicket. All the fielders are 'walking in with the bowler' and are now eager for another quick wicket. The other team soon loses yet another wicket. Why? The Aussies have momentum on their side. You can almost feel it in the air. When momentum is on your side, you believe for bigger things; the impossible now seems possible.

Youth Ministry. Church Growth. Mission. We need to find ways to encourage momentum in our ministries. It is imperative that we continually sow the vision of what the prefered future of our ministry is. It is important that as we do this, we passionately celebrate the stories of what God is doing. Sow, share, sow, share. As the Lord begins to move in power in your midst, continue to sow the vision and share the stories. All of a sudden, momentum is happening and Christians begin to believe for greater things. The momentum begins to hear people say, 'Maybe God can heal that person after all,' or 'Maybe Jesus will bring this Revival!'

Leaders. Build momentum. Don't take holidays when things are heating up. Grab a vision from the Holy Spirit, build a team that's united and passionate, and let the Spirit's momentum bring you to the future you always knew in your heart was possible. (Momentum is a Leader's Best Friend).

Monday, December 18, 2006

Abuse at Christmas Time?

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The Salvation Army assist so many people at Christmas time and down in Werribee, Community Support Services have been flat out giving out toys, vouchers, food, etc. Unfortunately there is such a great need, that the place is fully booked and cannot cater for any more people... What happens next makes it tough for volunteer staff, because there are constantly people ringing who need help, but it's impossible to help them (There's not enough time, money and staff). Sometimes this is followed by verbal abuse from the community...

My thanks goes out to the staff of Salvation Army programs that are working tirelessly to assist those in need this Christmas. May the love of Jesus empower you as you work hard this coming week, even through the tough times....

I pray that the Lord will allow the Salvation Army to assist more and more into our communities, so that people are not left stranded and unassisted in following years. But praise God for the huge amount of blessing given to so many this Christmas.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Are you the making of a Revolutionary?

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Are you Faithful, Available and Teachable? Are you radical and passionate about God, and growing his Kingdom? Are you willing to risk persecution in the church to reach people outside the church?

Revolutionaries understand that to see God grow the Church, the solutions to the issues of people leaving the church need to be different to the solutions used for a previous generation. Teenagers of Australia are displeased with the Church, yet are open to experiences of spirituality and even God and Jesus. A Revolutionary needs to look and relook at biblical examples of the birth of the Christian church... The Christians were a movement. They were defined, not by their buildings, but by their unified vision. They were a mixed group of Christ-followers (with many varying theological viewpoints), but the apostles (revolutionaries!) continually shared the vision of taking the message of Jesus to those who had not even heard that name.

Who will take the message of Jesus to the High-Schools? Who will take the message to the Shopping Centres? Who will take the message to Parliament? Who will take the message to the lonely? Revolutionaries live out the message of Jesus in these areas, and they take their bible and their passion for God and let the Holy Spirit transform the areas in which they live.

Give up working for no reason. Give up going to school with no purpose. Give up trying to impress your friends. There's something bigger at stake here. God's waiting to bring a Revolution, and he's looking around to see, is there anyone here who has the making of a Revolutionary???

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Salvo Training College here we come!

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Hey everyone! Today, it was made official that Jo and I have been accepted into the Salvation Army training college for 2007. For two years we'll be living in the college on Royal Parade (Melbourne). After those two years of study, spiritual development, prayer, etc, we'll be going whereever the Salvos send us... Maybe we'll plant a church that will be radical and change the face of Christianity in Australia?

Thanks to everyone that's supported us through this fairly quick transition. The work at Werribee will continue til near the end of January and then we will have the big move into College.

While I'm in College, I want to keep this site updated regularly. So if you want to read some informative, passionate, challenging blogs, then check out Revolution Earth occasionally.

God knows the plans he has for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to make you successful! (Jeremiah 29:11). Bless you guys!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Isaiah 6 - Worship, Repentance and Mission

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Isaiah 6:1-8 –
1 ‘In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.
--> This was about 740 bc. Isaiah is seeing a vision of the presence of the Lord!
2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
--> Some would say they were covering their faces because they were unable to look into the beautiful and powerful glory of God.
3 And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’
--> The word 'Holy' is used three times here to emphasize the fact that GOD IS HOLY! It's amazing that when the angels are in the presence of the Lord, they are somewhat speechless, and just find themselves calling out, Holy, Holy, Holy...
--> Have you heard people criticise the repetition of songs, such as singing over and over many times that God is Holy? I wonder whether when we're in Heaven, we'll be in awe of God and just find ourselves singing, 'Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy, Holy... is the Lord!' What will happen for those that criticise??
4 At the sounds of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
--> Is this a biblical refernce for a smoke machine??
--> Remember in Acts 4, when the disciples pray, the place shakes where they were praying. Ohh Lord, let our prayers be powerful and effective and shake the World in which we live.
5 ‘Woe to me!’ I cried, ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’
--> Look what happens when Isaiah is in the presence of God. He comes to a point of repentance. The sin in his life comes to the surface and he confesses his sin to the Lord.
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.
--> A live coal, is a very hot coal! (Write that down and tell your friends).
7 With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’
--> God is offering forgiveness for Isaiah. Since Jesus came to earth, 740 years after this vision, the process of forgiveness, is now only through Jesus himself, by his death and resurrection on the cross...
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’’
--> We worship. We repent. Then the Lord asks, who will go for him, to fulfill his mission? There's no use just worshipping, we need to be available for Jesus to use us in mission.
--> There's a cyclical process going on here. WORSHIP --> REPENTANCE --> MISSION .... back to --> WORSHIP --> REPENTANCE --> MISSION.
--> Let us not give up meeting together for worship. Some in our churches have maybe forgotten that mission is only effective if we continually come into God's presence in Worship and always maintain a heart of Repentance. Lord we seek after your glory and majesty everyday, please forgive us for the wrongs we do in your sight, and Lord please make us powerfully effective to fulfil your mission of making disciples of all the World; in Jesus' name, AMEN!

Saturday, December 9, 2006

City Outreach Stories 2

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Tonight there was just three of us (Pete, Jo and Shaun), and we met up in the western suburbs for some prayer and outreach into the community. We read some things from the Bible, Isaiah chapter 58 and 61... The Holy Spirit was already moving, so we were excited to get out onto the town.

So we went down to some shops in Altona, and wondered what God wanted us to do. We looked around and saw heaps of Shopping Trolleys just hanging around, so we spent the next hour cleaning them up. We continued to pray that God would continue to use us, then all of a sudden we saw Shaun's sister at the shops, around midnight. We got to talking a little, and she asked what were we doing. We said, 'We're just cleaning up some trolleys.' And then she responds, 'ohh, ok.... cool.' (Whatever takes your fancy!)

Following that God encounter we went off to the main street in Altona and prayed over a 'pasta' shop that had recently had stories of sexual immorality and other things happen in the shop. So we prayed against those things in the name of Jesus, and then went home at about 1:30pm. It was a pretty good night, and God will bless those that step out in faith to achieve something for him.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Water found on Mars

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I heard on the news tonight, they believe they have found water on Mars! That may help with Victoria's Water Shortage...

Just one thought. If Astronauts are sold out to searching the stars for life, how much more should Christians be passionate about a God who is bigger than even the largest of Galaxies? The issue here is faith. We live in a culture that says, seeing is believing, but God has always said that believing is seeing; faith brings sight.

Today. Just believe. Just do it. Believe in the God of the Universe, and actually live your life sold out to searching after Him, the one who gives you life abundantly through Jesus.

2 Muslims destroying Bibles?

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Does anybody know the power that exists within the Bible? If only those boys from Melbourne knew that within the words of the Bible lives are transformed, and people are set free from drugs, suicide, anger, and loads more. I always hear stories about the Bible transforming a life, maybe someone in a Hotel room with a Gideons Bible, or someone reads one on their shelf from when a Christian friend gave them one.

'All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that we may be thoroughly equipped for every good work' (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible is powerful, you better believe it. It's a Christian's road map and we would all be better off if we read some regularly.

If we get into the Word, then the Word will get into us, and then there will be a Revolution. Bring it on Jesus!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Organised Religion

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True story: Back when I was running Kid's Church, I asked a mother whether she would bring her children along. She said with a hint of sarcasm, 'Sorry, I'm not into organised religion.' I quickly replied, 'Organised? Turn up an hour early and you'll realise we're not into being organised!'

Is it said of late, that our culture (Australia) is open to things of spirituality, Angels and God, but have turned their backs on the church. Why is it that we still operate our churches the same that we did in 1950, yet expect to still reach our culture? Let's face the reality, that we need our churches to know what it means to be missional and then practice it. 'Worship music' that predates the life of Jesus, is not gonna cut it, for a younger generation, who watch the latest Video Hits...

As a younger generation lives in what some label as 'postmodernism', to what extent do we need to hold onto modernist structures, that were functional/effective back in their days? How do we 'organise' our Christianity for this generation, so that all are seen as equal, yet some are in positions that require leadership? How do we allow there to be diversity (as opposed to the modernist viewpoint of uniformity), while still allowing God to grow the Salvation Army? How do we 'organise' a large (growing?) organisation, so that people are empowered and not controlled, yet still work within the Lord's boundaries? Are you with me? Interesting questions... I love the Salvation Army. I love it so much, that I will work hard for it to change, in order that a new generation of young people are involved and passionate about its cause.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Personality Profiles

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Ever completed a psychological test? I had to fill out one recently (a part of the recruitment process for Salvation Army Officership!) One of my potential development needs relates to being highly critical of the status quo and finding it difficult conforming to the rules.

Oh oh. I believe I constantly question the status quo and I love to find ways to implement strategies to improve the way we do things. Although I need to keep in check with the passion I have for changing/improving the systems we find ourselves in, I do believe we need to constantly look at the processes and control measures we endorse and see if we can find innovative ways to do new and more effective things...

Anyway, Personality Profiles! Over the last few months I've seen the benefit of leaders being well informed of knowing people's personalities and their talents and spiritual giftings. Salvationist Sam Hancock comes to mind as a great leader within The Salvation Army, who could spend 15 minutes with you and be able to describe your personality coherently. He then is able to quickly consider ministries that he believes you would excel in. Imagine as a leader, we were able to discern quickly, whether someone is:

Introverted or Extroverted
Cautious or Enthusiastic
Trusting or Suspicious
Direct or Restrained
Confident or Self-Doubting
Relaxed or Tense-Driven
Stable or Anxious
Agreeable or Independent
Creative or Tough Minded

What a great benefit to know much about personality profiles and how to use them to influence people for the sake of the gospel of Jesus. Don't be naive, but learn and grow in order to be more effective for the Lord.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

City Outreach Stories

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Well, last night I caught up with a few mates. We spent a little time praying for each other and then we went off into the city of Melbourne at 11pm. A couple of the girls (Jo and Sarah) went off by themselves and found a drunk girl that needed some comfort. They ended up walking her all the way home to the Docklands, and along the way told her about the hope we have in Jesus! How cool!

Simon and I were walking along, constantly praying that the Holy Spirit would lead us. All of a sudden, I had a little thought in my mind, so I said to Simon, 'I think I want to pray outside this shop...' Anyway, I prayer briefly and meanwhile some security guard was looking on... We started a conversation with this man, and he turned out to be a Muslim man and we talked for well over an hour about, his beliefs and our beliefs. We said, we believe that when we pray to God, we can only do that through Jesus Christ. (He didn't get saved, but it was great to share/teach about Jesus!)

Later on, we found a busker (from Williamstown) that we talked too about a month ago. He asked what we were doing and I boldly answered, 'We've just been talking to a Muslim guy, trying to convince him to believe in Jesus.' Then he's like, 'Ohh, I know a song my mate wrote, saying, I don't believe in Jesus...' Then for some reason I said he should go buy the Passion of Christ movie and watch it. All of a sudden, he said, 'Ok, cool. I might do that.'

One more story! Jo and Sarah were standing outside Melbourne Central Station at 2am Saturday morning, and began talking to a guy. The guy was a 21 year old, who use to go to the Lutheran Church. The conversation takes off and Jo ends up sharing a history lesson on what the early Salvation Army is about. He seems intrigued, and Jo believes God used them to reignite a guy that had fallen away from the faith.

What an AWESOME night!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Street Surfer Bus Reaching a Community

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For the last couple of months I've been the chairperson of the Street Surfer Bus Committee. What a really awesome privilege that is.

The Street Surfer is a community bus in the western suburbs of Melbourne that has been going out into the streets mainly fridays and saturdays.

It has been amazing that in the last few months many new Christian volunteers from local churches have been starting to help on the bus.

New creative initiatives like these need to be thought of. Get a pad and pen and brainstorm some ideas, then work really hard and put some legs on the idea! (Don't do what I sometimes do... never give up too early if you believe you need to develop a new idea).

This summer, it's good to be 3!

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I know many Christians that are passionate about the Holy Spirit. They are passionate to see him move in power in their lives and the life of their churches and communities.

I know of many followers who are sold out to exploring philosophical ideas, questioning in depth theology and are strong believers in improving/sustaining God's creation.

Other Christians have a deep passion for reaching the lost; those that don't know Jesus. They are sold out to growing his Kingdom and believe that if you don't believe in Jesus you won't get into heaven.

So which is better? Which beliefs are valid and are any invalid? Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We need to be radically balanced in our view of the Trinity. One God: three persons of equal power and significance. All the above views are valid and need to be integrated forming a deep trinitarian view of God.

This summer it's good to be three.

This summer, it's good to be 3!

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I know many Christians that are passionate about the Holy Spirit. They are passionate to see him move in power in their lives and the life of their churches and communities.

I know of many followers who are sold out to exploring philosophical ideas, questioning in depth theology and are strong believers in improving/sustaining God's creation.

Other Christians have a deep passion for reaching the lost; those that don't know Jesus. They are sold out to growing his Kingdom and believe that if you don't believe in Jesus you won't get into heaven.

So which is better? Which beliefs are valid and are any invalid? Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

We need to be radically balanced in our view of the Trinity. One God: three persons of equal power and significance. All the above views are valid and need to be integrated forming a deep trinitarian view of God.

This summer it's good to be three.

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