Thursday, February 28, 2008

Officer's Fellowship, Crocodiles, Alcohol Rehab, Mud Racing

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What does Officer's Fellowship, Crocodiles, Alcohol Rehab and Mud Racing have in common? I'm not sure, but it defintely makes for an interesting first week!

Jesus is alive in the Northern Territory. Unfortunately the chicken on the left is not. We have had a taste of the Drug and Alcohol Rehab Centre, (just a taste of the programs offered, not a taste of any enslaving substances...). The team at the Sunrise Centre offer a 12-week program that entails 'The 12 Steps' of Alcoholics Anonymous, Anger Management, Sport, Woodwork, Chapel services, Counselling and other services. I'm surprised by the intentional sharing of the Gospel of Jesus, as people with drug and alcohol dependencies are supported. Great work guys!

Officer's Fellowship was a time to get to know the leaders in the Northern Territory. Passionate, focused, patient and expectant characterises these leaders from my viewpoint. God is doing great things through them!

We went with the Darwin Corps Youth Group to the Mud Racing recently. Hotted up cars driving through water and mud... sounds like a good excuse for a night out! It was an opportunity to meet some of the Youth and Adam, who is the Youth Leader here. On the Easter Weekend, the young guys will be getting together for an Easter Camp. We're praying that lives are transformed, and that God meets people head on!

I read recently in the Book of Acts, where there was a bunch of believers who had only received Jesus into their mind, and the apostle urged them to receive Jesus into their heart as well. Then they were baptised (filled) with the Holy Spirit. We need to find the right balance between the extremes of Intellectualism, Emotionalism, and Fanaticism. Be smart. Be passionate. Follow God's will.

I smell the beginnings of a Revolution...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Beginnings of a New Journey

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Well, we are here. Finally connected up with the internet and able to blog. Jo and I appreciated the awe-inspiring view of the dirt-ridden landscape of central Australia as we flew from Melbourne to Alice Springs and then from Alice to Darwin.

The people are relaxed here. We live on Darwin time... Which.... ... can... .... at ... ... times ... ... be... ... a little.... .... slower... .... than .... .... other.... places... It's just different culturally, people are focused yet not rushed, and intentional yet going with the flow. We see aboringines wandering down the street without shoes, enough Palm Trees to feel like California, and so much green grass I almost want to sleep on it!

We feel safe; I mean, come on, their last cyclone was six weeks ago! Everything is fine! (Argh!)

We have spent a little time with the CO's from Darwin, checking out the Corps and RHQ and some tourist places. We have also spent one day at the Sunrise Centre, which is a Drug & Alcohol (D&A) rehab centre and a homeless shelter. They have about 14 D&A clients, and 20 Homeless Beds to offer.

The weather is balmy, with enough humidity to take your breath away. But the locals say you'll get use to it.

We are loving it here. People are passionate about transforming lives and work hard to see that transformation!

We'll keep you posted. It's time for a Revolution.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Capturing Revolutionary Moments

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Lots has happened since my last blog. Let me attempt to capture some moments worth reading:

* Jo and I are officially heading off to Darwin as of this Wednesday morning (20th Feb). We are there until the 4th June!
* Many are wanting for me to send them a photo of myself in shorts, Salvo shirt and long socks. I promise I'll put a photo on my blog in the next month... (Not quite revolutionary, but if you insist!)

* LAB ONE (A study on Pastoral/Listening skills for Church leaders) was completed over the last two weeks. When listening to conversations, it's good to listen actively, and STOP trying to tell your own story and let them tell you their's! Don't ask people WHY questions so much, but rather help them unpack their stories, e.g. So tell me about how that makes you feel... LAB ONE is actually very helpful in equipping ministers to care effectively!

* 24/7 Prayer is happening at the Training College in Melbourne at the moment. Let me warn you, non-stop prayer shakes the foundations of hell on earth, and people begin to be set free from oppression. AMEN!

* As I was praying yesterday, the Lord showed me the scripture where Jesus clears out the Temple. I began to pray for Holiness, for myself, that I would clear out all the things that hinder my relationship with God, and then I prayed for the Church, that we would clear out the things that are not of God. Stay with me a moment... Do you know what happens when the Temple is cleared? Jesus begins to heal the sick. What a thought?! When we clear out our lives of sin and selfishness, then Jesus begins to empower us to be healed and to heal. When the Church begins to clear out sin, the Church begins to be healed and will heal! I love it!

* A thought: We can either complain or conquer. Which do you choose?

Friday, February 8, 2008

Spiritual Disciplines are Spiritual Opportunities

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Quite often spiritual disciplines are labelled as 'annoying' and 'not relevant' and sometimes we simply have not considered the importance of them. Let's look at some:

Fasting.

We may make excuses that we love our food too much, or that we don't need to fast to prove our love for God. Yet fasting is about going without the essentials, so as to remain focused on God. Not only that, my sacrificial act of going without food, helps me understand better those in places with little or no food. Think on it: Some complain that they're going to miss a nice meal, yet in some countries people barely eat one bowl of rice a day! Try fasting. Freedom Fridays, for instance is an opportunity to fast from food, and then spend that time praying for those that are oppressed in our World.

24/7 Prayer.

In every minute of ever day something devastating is happening in the world. Think on it: Someone is committing suicide, someone is being sexually abused, someone is overdosing on drugs, someone is dying of hunger, another person is dying without Jesus in their life... The ability for a group of people to pray around the clock ensures that we are lifting our communities in prayer, asking God to protect people, bless people, etc. Sacrifice some time for it. Look beyond yourself. It may be hard, it may be tiring, but in the end, who cares? Someone else needs my intercession!

Reading The Word.

In Revelation it mentions that out of Jesus' mouth comes a double-edged sword. We also know that the sword of the spirit is the Word of God. When we believe we're in a battle, we know we need to pick up this sword and use it to transform lives. We SPEAK the Word, we LIVE the Word, we PRAY the Word. Then God by his Spirit transforms lives. Don't enter battle without first entering the discipline of reading the Word.


Spiritual disciplines are spiritual opportunities.

A Revolution will only come with sacrifice.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

An Open Air Meeting: A Step of Faith

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Sunday afternoon. Bright sunny day. Peter Hobbs, Scott Ellery, myself, Jo, Cpt. Stephen Court and some other "Prayer Warriors" joined us as we hit the streets in Melbourne at the Victoria Market.

I had the guitar, and we played some popular tunes, including "I still haven't found what I'm looking for", "I'm a believer", "Lean on me" and others. People listened and some tapped their feet. In amongst the songs we each got up and shared a quick gospel message. As people sat on the cafe chairs sipping their coffee, they uncomfortably pretended not to hear us too much. But we did have a response...

One guy from Bejing, who was not a Christian and on holidays, came up to us, and Cpt. Court gave him a bible and got his details, and he said he would read it all and email Cpt. Court later on. He was genuinly interested in the gospel message.

Here's a bizarre thing in Australian culture. We preached the gospel hardcore, and we said, to have life to the fullest you need Jesus... Just believe in him today. Following our songs, I went up to some young adults, just chilling and looking cool, and I offered them a Warcry. One guy said, 'Ahh yeah, I'll take it. We love the Sallies!' Even after going hard with the message of Jesus... Kind of weird, but I think that says a little about Australian culture. They have huge respect for TSA, and even when we've spent the last 30 minutes preaching the gospel, the reply is one of respect. We pray that people begin to connect with our message of Jesus, and for the community to realise, that they can become Salvos as well!

Bring back the Open Airs. Do them well. Be relevant. Preach the gospel. God can use it.

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