Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The REAL World


Well I'm back in Training College, and am excited that the next six months will offer a further opportunity of growth and development, in becoming more like Christ. I'm not sure I'm overly keen on using the phrase, 'Then after College you will get back into the real world!' What does that mean?! You mean my life now is not real? My encounters now with people is not real? Of course it is, and every relationship bears an opportunity to rub off on someone else the character of Jesus and the grace of God.

Here's some more thoughts and quotes of late:

* The most important thing a congregation relies on is the holiness of its pastor - Colonel Redhead
* There can be unity through diversity - Thanks Kim for that reminder
* Sometimes we can foster an undesirable culture of a group of people, by continuing to label the group by that present culture, rather than speaking up what it could become - My thought, maybe someone can publish it in a book...??
* Maintenance is quite often decline, especially when you consider the rate of growth of population.
* "What the world needs now... is love, sweet love" - Just thought I'd put that in.
* Is 1,000 cadets in a session a mere dream and loss of reality? Or could we trust that beuracratic structures, ability to train and equip cadets, how people are accomodated and cared for could be supported and lead by the Holy Spirit and facilitated by humans? Sure 1,000 cadets is not possible under our current way of facilitating the training of cadets, but that's because the system we have created to train cadets has been developed to cater for 30 cadets in a session. I really don't see the problem with dreaming big and then asking God for wisdom on how to do the rest... It's funny you know, some would call me naive, yet others would say that's just faith.

14 comments:

  1. 1000 cadets in a session. There are territories that would like that to happen. Take PNG, which has two colleges, the OTC and SALT College both are full every year. It takes $190,000 a year to train 12 cadets add to that the SALT students and we can see training cost money. Cadets are paid a weekly allowance of $10 each + 25c per child a week to keep themselves. Officers are a little better off.The OTCis reliant on IHQ for the money. The college has not had an increase in its budget on over six years and yet cost continue to rise. The territory could place more people in appointments but again it cost money to house and pay these people. Many third world territories are in a similar boat. Faith, yes, but on the ground realities are a different matter. WJE

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  2. Look in your pockets... the answer is often there!

    WJE, you're a smart man, surely you could use that brainpower for good instead of evil....

    In saying that, I mean that its EASY to just see the problems... it takes real effort and ingenuity, also a bit of creative power to think of ideas and solutions to the problems of the world. So I challenge you to solve the problems rather than just pointing them out (any numbskull can do that!).

    Perhaps if the Salvos in Australia learned from the evangelical zeal of third-world Salvos, we'd have an explosion of souls in our country.... with the new growth would come new disciples and people willing to give their all... and yes, their money to support the mission of God. I think thats a solution worth chasing...

    We could even just be challenging the Soldiers of our territory to be truly sacrificial in their giving (setting the benchmark as a minimum biblical tithe) and see God at work in that simple challenge as the funds flow in...

    hmmm... just scratching the surface... any other ideas?

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  3. In the real world not everyone is on the same program. In the real world, relationships can't be re-assured and renewed in a structured environment. In the real world, not everyone is increasing their personal intellectual capital.

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  4. Did manage to put somethings in place that enabled the OTC to function better than it did.It might be an interesting exercise here to ask that we all survive in college the way our cadets did in PNG.This would mean such things as no health cover - little or no education allowance for children. Most often went without food simply because the weekly allowance had run out. If you get malaria the best they can do is panadol. Books for further study are almost out of reach - computers are just a dream and so it goes on. The SALT college is even worse off. It teaches its course in Pidgin and the staff has to try and translate and then get into print notes for students the place doesn't have the resources. Myanmar where conditions are even harder. We have lots of Bibles on our shelves - you would not believe the condition of peoples Bible when they come to College. Yes we managed to get help from a corps back here so we could purchase a NIV Study Bible for each couple. The OTC in Myanmar is another place I know something about. We came back to Australia and what do we hear - a great deal of whinging about officer conditions and even cadets being unhappy about their housing when they get their first appointment. Or bemouning there lot here in this place. Sorry not very sympathetic to such approaches to life. Oh yes, it is easy to see the problems, but the problems were not seen from afar, they were experienced first hand and parcel of everyday life, even for us who lived and worked in the middle of them and tried to make a difference. It is easy to say the answer is in the pocket but unfortunately it rarely happens to the extent it should. IHQ is dependent on the Self-Denial Appeal to fund third world territories. If the money doesn't come in then those territories suffer. There are no simplistic answers my friend. WJE

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  5. Yeah, I agree WJE, there are no simplistic answers. All I'm advocating for is a widening of our vision and a simple trust in God, who if he calls many people into officership, then God will also give us the wisdom and tools to facilitate the calling he has been doing in people's lives.

    (I understand the malaria and mosquito biting stuff isn't an issue over here...)

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  6. I am somewhat amazed at the attitude that cadets seem to have towards respected officers who have put in long years of serve both here and overseas. Cadet, your reply completely miss the mark and show a failure to really come to grips with what it takes to be an officer in such places and PNG. Both of you need a reality check as well what appears to be a lack of respect to those who have served in PNG and the officers and soldiers of that territory. Having served there myself I can tell you their faith is far from simple and they make sacrifices that are far beyond even your imagination. I think an apology is in order to both the Major and PNG. Lorraine.

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  7. Hi Lorraine, thanks for your comments. In my last comment, I was advocating for a simple faith in God, and didn't label any person as having a 'simple faith' with a negative conatation. I apologize if this is the way it seemed.

    I still stand by my previous comments, appreciating the vast experience that officers have had over the years, including ministry in places of financial difficulty and less than desirable situations.
    My previous comment was, "All I'm advocating for is a widening of our vision and a simple trust in God, who if he calls many people into officership, then God will also give us the wisdom and tools to facilitate the calling he has been doing in people's lives."

    At this point in time, I have been passionately doing my part in pushing for the Western World to support cadets overseas, by organising a Territorial wide fundraising scheme, hoping this will bless the work of Training College's in third world places.

    As this expands, and other things grow in the future, I believe more and more cadets will be entering College's in our Army, and because God will be calling them in to College, as he has been, I believe he will equip us into the future to handle that growth.

    God bless the Army!

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  8. Lorraine

    A lot of young people all over Australia and the world are also reading this and other blogs. Some of these young people have left the Salvation Army, and are only now seeking to return. Some of these people will read the comments by Major Ennis on various blogs and be reminded of the very reasons they left. We can all be mindful of who is reading, and the need for apology and self examination does us all good. If we become so wrapped up in our own credentials, we can give the impression that we have no need of God, and people genuinely seeking God will realise they need to take another route via a more humble conduit.

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  9. Anon, It never ceases to amaze us that whenever there is robust theological debate on blogs those involved are said to be responsible for youth leaving or are said to be attacking the youth. If the youth are that sensitive then there may be something amiss in the youth culture. maybe they need to reread their NT and the robust debate that went on in the church. Or maybe it is time the so called youth matured in adults in the faith. Lorraine

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  10. To suggest blogs debates are the reason youth left the church/Army and reading them will turn them a way is simplistic. If only it was that simple. Unfornunately we live in a complex world and we deal with complex people. Have followed some of the debates in which the major has had some imput and have learned quite a lot about the Bible and the faith. Trust he will continue to add to what is happening. GH

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  11. I assume you have followed something of the discussion on another blog regarding signs and wonders. Have also followed it and found it to be most helpful especially the stuff from Matthew's gospel. It didn't sound like miracles etc were being totally done away with. What I did pick up was the need to test what was being said and that annadotal evidence was not sufficient and that there may in fact be a problem with those from this stream need to be checked out. I find it interesting that in the great commission does attach these things and that they are called 'signs of an apostle'- someone might tell me what that means. Looks like mit means these things were only done by the Apostles. Also nowhere does Paul command or instruct his churches on the subject- why might that be the case? GH

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  12. Obviously, none of you have sufficient faith to counter the decline of Christianity in Australia.

    You all need to pull your socks up.

    What kind of childish person demands an apology from a cadet? An emotionally weak and small-minded person, perhaps. Fat lot of good your faith does you, when you can't bear a minor hurt silently.

    Cry-babies for Jesus.

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  13. WOW... interesting comments all round... good work. I think the answer is 'both/and'.

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  14. GH said "Also nowhere does Paul command or instruct his churches on the subject- why might that be the case?"

    Re read the new testament! 1 corinthians especially!

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