The views, comments, statements and opinions expressed on this site do not necessarily represent the official position of The Salvation Army.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Running away from.... grace?

Anyone who spent any amount of time anywhere near a Sunday School has heard the story of Jonah. For whatever reason it’s seems to be
a very popular story to share with children. I suspect anything to do with animals saving the day is attractive to kids. I’m sure you know it well. Jonah gets told by God to go to Nineveh and “preach against it” (1:2), he runs away, ends up on a boat in a storm going in the opposite direction, he gets thrown in the ocean which seems to appease God, he’s swallowed by a “huge fish” (1:17) in which he spends three days and three nights. From inside the fish he realises the errors of his ways, prays to God and determines to obey instead, so the fish vomits him up onto dry land. Jonah goes to Nineveh and proclaims the message God gives to him; “Forty more days and Ninevah will be overthrown” (3:4). Immediately a remarkable thing happens – “The Ninevites believed God” (3:5). The king calls a fast and demands the people and animals be covered in sackcloth to demonstrate their repentance and decrees that everyone should

“call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence. Who knows? God may yet relent and with compassion turn from his fierce anger so that we will not perish.” (3:8-9)

Friday, September 23, 2016

An Exercise in Self-Deception

The Salvation Army in Australia is in the midst of an historic journey. Since 1880 the Army has been active in this country, doing all it can to see God’s Kingdom come and his will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. For much of that time, for functional and practical reasons, there have been two territories; Australia Southern and Australia Eastern. Earlier this year it was announced that this would change. The two would become one. As at 1 June the Australia One project was launched and work was begun on joining the two territories together into one unified structure.

This move excites me. Not just for the practical reasons, but for theological ones as well. This has the potential to be a symbol of unity to the rest of the Army and, indeed, the world. A symbol of how two different things can come together to form something new and, through that new thing, reform society. This can be a symbol of the incarnation; that moment in time and space when the divine and human were united in an eternal bond and through that union, in the very person of Jesus Christ, new creation was birthed. Not just replacing the old creation but born there in the midst of it, and it has been growing and building towards its ultimate conclusion ever since. That moment to come when all of the old shall become new and everything will be recreated and live under the lordship of Jesus Christ. Seen in that light the Australia One project is very exciting.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Soldiership Preparation Materials - #plus1challenge

Photo credit: Lt Phillip Sutcliffe
I've seen a really encouraging response to my #plus1challenge so far. It's great to see. If you haven't read my original post yet it's accessible here. In summary, the #plus1challenge is to see in our Territory the number of soldiers increase by 1. It's starts with you and me.

This post is simply a collection of resources I've been able to locate on the internet that can be used in soldiership preparation classes. I'm not necessarily endorsing any one in particular. I just know, as Corps Officer, that finding material that is suitable can be difficult. So, this is just a list of materials that are available. Click on each title to go to each course.

If you know of something that I've missed send me a message or comment below and I'll update this post as needed.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The #Plus1Challenge

Today I received my copy of The Salvation Army’s Year Book for 2016. I’m sure a lot of people just put it aside, place it on the shelf and ignore it; barely even taking note of what’s inside. For me, though, I always read through it. In particular, I’m interested in the statistics for my Territory (Australia Eastern). Every year when I receive the Year Book I look, in particular, at the number of Senior Soldiers. This year it is listed as 7,880.

Last year it was 8,159.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Looking Like a Leader

I once heard it said that if you want to look like a leader then make small decisions loudly. Consider a couple of examples. Firstly, you’re standing behind someone in a queue at a fast food outlet. It takes some time to get to the front of the line and inevitably the person before you waits until that moment to decide what it is they would like to order. Or consider driving behind someone into a car park with hundreds of empty spaces. Spoilt for choice the driver in front ends up unable to decide which of the many free spots is best for them, thus delaying everyone behind them. In both of these not so imaginary situations it can be frustrating to be forced to bear the consequences of their indecision. 

“Just make a decision!”