Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Day at the Funeral Parlour

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The becoming a minister thing is really happening... Today we spent the day at Tobin Brothers Funeral Parlour. We listened to the 'ins and outs' of running a funeral, and spent time visiting a grave site, crematorium, we saw a 'prepared' deceased body and other things...

Here are some of the 'not so perfect' funeral stories (all true stories...):
* Forgetting the name of the deceased and using a relative's name instead
* Accidentally pressing the button for the lowering of the coffin at the beginning of the service!
* Having to lower the coffin at the beginning because the sides of the dug grave were caving in.
* A family rings the Crematorium because they wanted to receive back their father's hip replacement, made of pure gold, only to be told the body has already been burnt and the gold had melted.
* Saying the wrong things, like praising God for the death of a 13 year old girl, because 'it must be in his will'... Gee... I don't know I would say that!
* Pastoral visits of grieving families... with all the varied reactions, for example, family disputes/arguments, power struggles, queries about 'The Will' before proceeding with the funeral, families that are actually relieved at the death of a relative because they were 'an abuser'.

This all being said... A funeral is no doubt a priveleged time of ministry for a minister. A time to support families deal with grief, to offer support, prayer, stability, and a 'shoulder' to cry on. I look forward to the opportunities I will have in the future to support families through the funeral process, and to speak prophetically into their lives at such a crucial time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

STOKE IT UP!

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The Holy Spirit wants to empower you, so put yourself in the line of fire and get equipped!

A Cadet woke up this morning at 5:30am singing, 'Spirit of the Living God... Fall afresh on me...' He couldn't get back to sleep, so he joined us in the basement for some early morning prayers!

Commissioner T. Henry Howard at the opening of The Salvation Army Training Garrison in the Australia Southern Territory in 1888 (125 years ago), said the purpose of... "The Salvation Army training home is to encourage and stimulate the zeal of its recruits.... they were not going to quench fire but stoke it up!"

I'm reminded of a proverb (19:2) that says, "It is not good to have zeal without knowledge." Hence the fact that we study!

This leads me to this quote from General Larson, "As a Salvation Army we need leaders who are both scholars and dynamos: informed men and women of action." AMEN!

It may be time for you to STOKE IT UP. Sit no longer idly by, while the heedless millions die. Lift the blood stained banner high, and WIN the WORLD for JESUS!

Officers release them. Soldiers step it up. It's time for a Revolution. Can you not perceive it?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Australia Day 2008: A Time to Unite

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Over 2,000 Christians united in prayer for the nation of Australia in Melbourne today. Organised by 'Catch the Fire' Ministries and supported by many Church leaders/ministers, we gathered to proclaim Australia for Jesus. Here were some of the prayers/highlights:
* Prayers for:
--> Unity in the body of Christ
--> Government Leaders
--> The breaking of the drought and recognition that God was already doing this in Australia!
--> Service men and women, in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and East Timor.
--> The next generation of young people, that they would rise up and be bold warriors for Jesus, not bowing down to peer pressure, but bowing down to the Lord!
* Testimony of a guy who at a prayer meeting in Canberra late last year, died of a heartattack in the meeting... Well for atleast twenty minutes, until Jesus brought life back into his bones!
* Awesome worship time with a Samoan Choir...
* Pastor Danny Nalliah asked me to come up and do the closing prayer for this Australia Day gathering. I started off by saying, 'The gates of Hell shall not prevail against the Army of the Lord! Hallelujah!'

(We could have more Salvation Army support for ecumenical events like these...)

It's time for a Revolution. In Australia and of course, the World. Are you ready?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Final Trial: Part 2

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Following a prayer time the other day, this is a continuation of what I saw...

After a 'Not Guilty' verdict from the judge, I had a feeling that I should counter-sue the plaintiff. So I took Satan to court and this is what happened...

The security guard voices loudly, "All rise. This is the case of 'Brookshaw' Vs 'Satan'. All parties please be seated. (Looks at crowd) Please be seated."

Once again Almighty God comes to the judgement seat to listen to the case at hand. With a deep breath, I begin... "Your honour, I was found not guilty recently of some crimes I've committed. I know in the past I have not always made good choices and have chosen at times to do the wrong thing, but there's more to it than that. Looking back at my life, I have realised Satan and his crusty demons have been at work in parts of my life. Tempting, almost pushing me into sin, accusing me of wrong-doing. At times Satan has caused heartache, depression, a lack of passion and anger. I therefore plead with the court to find this Angel guilty of the above crimes!"

The court adjournes.

God steps back into the courtroom, and all eyes are fixed on his holy presence. The Lord begins... "Satan, I have heard the counter-sue arguments that Peter has put forth. You have indeed been responsible for holding Peter back at times. I therefore find you GUILTY of being an advocate for injustice, and for provoking the sinful nature in Peter. The courts desire, is that you would now be literally bound up, unable to move and make any trouble. We bind your feet. We bind your arms. We bind your wings. We cause a Spirit-led power to prevent you from any unruly behaviour, so long as Peter continues to live a life, WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB."

"You may be dismissed."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Final Trial: Part One

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As I was praying, this is what I saw:

The security guard walks into the large courtroom. "All rise. This is the case of 'Satan' Vs 'Brookshaw'. All parties may be seated. Please be seated." All of a sudden I see the judge come out from the back door, and it was God himself, the indescribable, awe-inspiring presence of God. He must have been the Judge for the case. Just then, God calls me forward to the witness stand. How nervous am I! I'm about to be questioned by Satan himself!

Satan stands up from the plaintiff's position from across the room and says, "Peter. I have here in my hands the list of crimes you have committed according to the Word of God. Let me see... Lying, Bickering, Gossipping, Whinging, Anger, Fits of Rage, Lust, Deceit, Breaking promises, Dishonouring your mother and father... and the list goes on! YOUR HONOUR, I see NO reason why Peter should not be sentenced to death, according to these crimes and the expectations of the Word of God!"

I take a deep breath.

God looks at Satan. "I will need ten minutes to look at the case." Court is adjourned.

Court resumes. God looks up from his large judgement seat at the front of the court. All eyes are fixed on the Lord, wondering what will be of this whole saga. Will the defendant be sentenced?! I shuffle in my chair, knowing this is it. This is the clincher. This is the be-all end-all case.

God begins... "I have looked at this case. There is no doubt Satan you are right in the fact that Peter has committed these offences... But there's just one thing... I have looked over the documents pertaining to the defendant's crime... The crimes are crossed out, and all I find written on all these documents... is... "WASHED IN THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB!!". I therefore find no valid reason to hold Peter accountable for any such crimes mentioned, and therefore find the defendant, NOT GUILTY."



Friday, January 18, 2008

Some Church History and the beginnings of The Salvation Army

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Church History... Not as boring as you think... Around 1054 A.D the Church split, forming both the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church (Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, etc.). About 500 years after this we get to a time in history we know as the Reformation, when some revolutionaries like Martin Luther and John Calvin created a following with a form of Christianity others followed.
The Church of England seperated from the Roman Catholic Church during 1534, when King Henry VIII of England wanted to divorce his wife. The pope disallowed this, so King Henry created his own following!
Two centuries later the great John Wesley is born, in 1703, and from the growth of the Wesleyan Church, finally sparks the beginnings of The Salvation Army in 1865 through William and Catherine Booth.
What a history!? We stand on the shoulders of the leaders who have gone before, and we freely proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, while others in the past were martyed for their faith.
Many of these leaders were Revolutionaries. Passionate about change, passionate about justice, and passionate about Jesus.
Are you ready for a Revolution?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Leadership Tips for Revolutionary Leaders

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Here's some quotes worth thinking about when it comes to leadership:

'The world of the 1990's and beyond will not belong to "managers" or those who can make the numbers dance. The world will belong to passionate, driven leaders--- people who not only have enormous amounts of energy but who can energize those whom they lead.' -- Noel Tichy & Stratford Sherman

'A leader is, by definition, an innovator. He does things other people haven't done or don't do. He does things in advance of other people. He makes new things. He makes old things new. Having learned from the past, he lives in the present, with one eye on the future.' -- Warren Bennis

'To lead is to go out ahead and show the way when the way may be unclear, difficult or dangerous.' -- Robert K. Greenleaf

'...there is already too much managing and not enough leading. People prefer to be led by vision and direction rather than just policies and procedures. A more proactive leadership style implies leading, not just managing.' -- Henry Klopp

A good leader not only inspires followers to reach for the stars, but helps provide the rocket to get there! It's time for Revolutionary Leaders. Are you ready to step up? To inspire? To challenge? To lead?

Monday, January 14, 2008

2008: A Year of Adventure

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Are you looking forward to the year ahead? I am. I'm back from holidays and start college again in a week, and I'm excited about the possibilities and opportunities we have as we share the message of Jesus with people this year!

In Luke 9:1-6, Luke records a time when Jesus sends his twelve disciples out on an adventure. Do you know the story...? Two by two they go out, going to and fro sharing that the Kingdom of God is near and healing diseases, casting out demons in the places they travel. What an adventure?!

Have 'we' today watered down this kind of adventure? So that today, when you become a Christian you don't do much healing, beacuse what if you pray for someone and they don't get healed, and we just end up embarassed, or what if we share with someone about the truth of Jesus and they reject it? So in the end, we give up on fulfilling the adventure and we find ourselves sitting in Church singing songs about changing the world and then not doing much about it...

But this can't be true. We're a Salvation Army, ready to win the world for Jesus with blood and fire. To the ends of the earth we'll go. Lord, we're ready for an adventure this year. We know the power of God is seen when we step out and do something that requires your power to be at work!

It's time for a revolution. 2008. Are you ready?

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