Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pete's Ponderings - Vision, Natural Disasters, The Salvation Army and Spiritual Ministry


Vision must find itself connected to strategy, all else its just happy thoughts.
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Lord, we pray for The Salvation Army as it decides a new international leader (the General) to lead this movement forward in the days ahead. Jesus allow your Spirit to give wisdom to all involved in making this decision.
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If you aim for 50, you might end up with 20, but it would most likely be more than if you aimed at nothing.
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Vision->Strategy->Goals->Mission->Outcomes
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Social welfare and support without the spiritual dimensions robs people of the opportunity to understand that they were created by a loving God. Spiritual support without the practical assistance is undermining the character of a God who cares for us - our whole being.
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I facebooked recently about whether the current disasters that are happening in Australia (Queensland Floods, Victorian floods etc), where of God, the Devil, were just natural disasters or whether they were the outworking of environmental neglect. The responses were varied. Some were adamant it was simply a natural disaster. Some were mentioning that they believe that humans have made bad environmental decisions over the years, and floods like these are merely an outworking of those bad decisions. No one attributed the floods to God, but one person attributed it to the Devil.

I'm still considering my response. Though, lets discuss a line of thought... If we believe that the floods are purely a natural disaster, is this then presupposing that God is no longer involved in our creation? The thought is that God created the laws of nature back at creation, and so everything just runs like a machine until the end days. Though if we believe God IS involved in the ongoing work of creation, then we have the challenging theological thought of whether God instigated such terrible disasters. This doesn't fit into a theology of a loving God, who promised would never flood the earth again (following the story of Noah). So, if we believed that God still blesses his people, and his creation, and that God has his hand of protection over us, and so forth, could we then believe, that if we didn't follow God, and we turned our lives away from him, that his hand of protection may no longer be upon us. If this was the case, then we could believe that the Devil who seeks to kill, steal and destroy might have the ability to cause such a disaster. That would possibly be the line of thought, that one such person was courageous enough to suggest.

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