Friday, December 28, 2007
Hope you had a great Christmas! I have a new growing interest and a growing concern which I believe the Spirit of God is building inside of me...
My growing interest...? Muslims. Reaching muslims with the gospel of Jesus. I've been reading quite a bit lately about ministry in predominantly Muslim settings. Some say there are 1.2 billion muslims in the world; Wikipedia says 1.8 billion (just less than the amount of Christians).
My growing concern...? Should there be more of us reaching the muslims? Specifically, what is The Salvation Army doing to reach the muslims? What can we be doing to reach the muslims? The Salvos are in 113 countries, and without doing the research, do many of the other 'untapped' countries have mainly muslims living there?
Revolution Earth is not just about Western Civilization. It is not just about sharing a gospel which ties in a heap of western culture, which may or may not relate necessarily to the foundational commands of the Word of God, e.g. clothing, how we position ourselves when we pray, our buildings, etc. Muslims have a particular culture which has developed since the 7th century days of Mohammad and which we need to learn to not be afraid of but to learn, so as to communicate the message of Jesus is an uncompromising but contextually relevant way.
Since entering college at the beginning of 2007, the Lord has grown in me a greater appreciation and burden for the wider Salvation Army, and Universal Church. Only recently are my eyes being opened to the potential that The Salvation Army has in ministering to muslim communities and witnessing the growth of the Kingdom in these settings.
Stay tuned for more interesting bit-sized blogs on reaching muslims for Jesus.
It's time for a Revolution. Are you ready?
* Our prayers go out to Pakistan at this time, with the murder of Benazir Bhutto and the political and social unrest in this country.
* Our prayers go out to the survivors of the 2004 Tsunami disaster in South East Asia, for the rebuilding of lives, communities and the traigc memories of the past.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Well, it's Christmas time... Hope you enjoy the moments with family and friends. As the well known cliche' goes: Jesus is the reason for the season.
I'm on holidays for the next month. So don't expect a heap of blogs during this time. Have a great Christmas, and a fruitful and blessed New Year.
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday morning: Collected for Carlton Corps in Lygon St., and Jo and I collected $696 in 2.5 hours. Praise God.
Satuday afternoon: My sister-in-law Lisa had an engagement party with her fiance Scott (from Scotland). We're praying for an awesome marriage and heaps of blessed years together serving the Lord!
Sunday morning: An 'In-Sunday' at the Training College, where we joined together with the kids and sang carols, read from Luke 2 (Jesus' birth!), Mjr. Greg Morgan preached on our 'Unfinished business', there's still salvation to be sought after by people, and we still need to work for peace.
Sunday early afternoon: My parents got back from America, and so we cuddled and cried and spent quality time together. My sister baptised her baby 'Ella' at an Anglican Church in Williamstown... I pray that my niece will grow up and choose to follow Jesus when she's older. What an opportunity sometimes we have to share about Jesus and pray for our families.
Sunday night: A Carols night at Wyndham City Salvos. 150 people, lots of carols, a unicycle, sausauges, magic tricks, a drama, a DVD clip about Christmas, a message, and lots of connections with the community.
The message of Christmas is Revolutionary. God came to earth as a human in the form of Jesus and lived to set people free...
It's time for a Revolution. Are you ready?
Friday, December 14, 2007
Here's some of my thoughts and ventures recently:
* A teenager (who I don't know) from a local Secondary College I use to work in rang me the other day, speaking obscene words into the phone - a prank call... So I started speaking about Jesus, and telling him he needs to give his life to Jesus! Ha! Praise God!
* We don't enter Soldiership or Officership so much because of what The Salvation Army is, but more so for what it can become! What do you think?
* God promised Joshua to give the land in which he set foot (Joshua 1). I believe that can be the same for us, hence the reason we went prayer walking around a local suburb recently...
* Did some collecting down at Melbourne Central Station the last few mornings. I'm amazed at the generosity of the people of Melbourne, and pray God's blessing upon them!
* Do we encourage Christian children to be more excited for Santa than we do for Jesus? Or do we simply lack the ability to share the gospel of Jesus with kids, in ways that makes them as excited for Jesus as they get for someone like Santa? What do you think?
* Today's a new day, a new opportunity. Let's make the most of it. As the candidate's dpt say, give up your small ambitions and come change the world.
* Cpt. Stephen Court has started believing for 1000 cadets in one session. Ohh yeah! Why not? I can think of about 10-15 people from one local corps that could all sign up today if they felt needed and felt called... Lord, call people, and let us hear.
* Lets plant new ministries, new corps, new outposts. Down in Werribee, the corp's friendship group has been meeting in the local Plaza, and new people feel welcome. (What missioligists call a third place)
* Scott wanted me to blog about the fact that he has cleaned some windows recently and that they look great. Thanks Scott; Revolutionary.
* We will have power when the Holy Spirit comes upon us... to be Witnesses. Matrys. Revolutionaries.
* Is Terry McCrann in 'The Herald Sun' actually Lt. Col. Raymond Finger? Just a thought.
* Jesus is coming back soon. Lets reconcile the World back to Christ.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
General Edward J. Higgins: 'Nothing is so likely permanently to stop soul-saving as the want of intense zeal on the part of our own people. How far are your soldier's meetings utilised for the development of the personal religion and fighting capacity of your people? Never mind the fewness of the numbers; if you can but get the few set on fire, the fire will attract others.'
General Paul A. Rader: 'While we are motivated by great optimism as to the possibility for change and new life for persons and communities, we are not naive regarding the fallenness and sinfulness of the human heart. Nor are we unaware of the evil desire of Satan to deceive and destroy, to demean and damn human personal. Further, we accept that there can be a powerful and pervasive demonic dimension evident in human systems and structures, institutions and cultures. We are called to live out our faith and pursue our mission in a fallen world that may put us at risk. All the more we are determined not to back down from any overt or insidious challenge to Christ's Kingdom, whether that challenge is in the form of personalised or institutionalised evil.'
OUCH! I read the following recently:
* That the biggest lie Satan tells to people, is that he doesn't exist.
* We are not called to simply be contemporary, but to be prophetic.
* We build on the past, work on the present, and impact the future.
* Sometimes praise and worship music is self-indulgent, not honouring God much... Ouch.
* The early Salvation army wrote songs that were about impacting the world for Jesus. A huge vision. A driving passion.
Get off the band-wagon and get into the throne room.
It's time for a Revolution. Are you ready?
Friday, December 7, 2007
Jo and I spent the week at Flagstaff, which is a 64 bed emergency accomodation for men, found just north-west of Melbourne. We had a chance to 'chaplain' or minister to guys throughout the week; taking guys out for coffee, playing music with some, playing pool with others, and cricket as well. (It's a tough life!)
Before we left Flagstaff today we spoke to one of the guys about Jesus, gave him a Bible and had a prayer with him. We're praying he finds a job that he needs, and finds some people to befriend him!
On the way home, we caught the tram, and as we were getting closer to home, we saw one of the Flagstaff residents absolutely drunk, laying across the seats of the tram. We woke him up and took him off the tram, and bought him a pie and water from 7-Eleven and he sat and ate it, spilling the sauce all over himself. A guy next to us, winked at us and donated $10 to the Salvos... We caught the tram back to Flagstaff and we dropped the guy off. The workers then walked him back to his room, so he could sleep off the alcoholism. What a ministry! God bless those chaplains and employees that dedicate their lives to helping those in absolute crisis.
Thanks Simon Pickens for the week we've had.
Jesus is alive. It's time for a Revolution. Will you be part of it?
Thursday, December 6, 2007
What's the big question for The Salvation Army?
"What are we on about?"
Are we actually an Army? YES! Are we passionate about social justice? YES! Are we passionate about Evangelism? YES!
Are we here to relax? NO! Are we called to be comfortable? NO!
Do we seek first the Kingdom of God? YES! Do we commit to ministry beyond the expected? YES! Do we do it out of legalism? NO! We minister out of our passion for Christ. Hallelujah.
Is it really time for a Revolution? Will we put aside our own desires, our own hangups, our own passions, and join together to bring about this Revolution? A Revolution never occurred watching the idiot box! Revolutions are only preceeded by committed, faith-filled prayers, and a holy discontent for the way things are at the present.
Are you really ready for a Revolution? Will you stop just playing the game and being comfortable?
Signed: A holy discontented warrior, hoping to be in the Revolution when it happens...
(As Dave Collinson writes... Just a Thought)
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