Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Walls are Half Built - A Test for Nehemiah

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There’s a story of a guy named Nehemiah, who found out the walls around his home city had been burned down and the place was in disarray. After a stirring in his heart, he felt he was called to move back to his home town, rally people around him, in order that he might rebuild the walls.
A few weeks went by, and the wall was half built, and in fact people had been working tirelessly to even get to that point. The Bible says, that they worked with all of their heart (Neh 4:6). 
Some opposition arose. People outside the city of Jerusalem were threatening to attack, and not long after even people from within his own group were whingeing. They wanted to give up. They said it was no good. They said it was useless in continuing to pursue such a dream.
Maybe you’ve been in those situations, where things are half done, half completed, and there’s still more work to be done, but it seems everything and everyone is against you. Well it’s at this lowest point, that Nehemiah chooses to STAND amongst the crowd, and defiantly declare that the people would continue to rebuild the walls despite all the negativity and hostility. In the end, the people were motivated and the vision was fulfilled. The walls around Jerusalem were rebuilt.
All it took was someone to have a holy discontentedness to unfinished business. All it took was some tenacity to persevere and to finish what was started.

Maybe you are half way through that vision, that degree, that resolution and you need to simply STAND and declare before God and others, that you will complete what you started!

No unfinished business.


Other posts on Nehemiah:
-> Leadership principles from Nehemiah
-> Standing amidst adversity - Nehemiah

Most popular:
-> The Most important truth about Leadership


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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Way of Holiness - A Summary of a Samuel Logan Brengle Holiness Classic

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What is Holiness? What is The Salvation Army's view on holiness?

In April 1902, Bramwell Booth notes that he requested Samuel Logan Brengle to write 'The Way of Holiness'.

Brengle unleashes important thoughts on holiness, still relevant today as it was in the early 1900s. He writes, 'Holiness...for you and for me, is not maturity, but purity: a clean heart in which the Holy Spirit dwells, filling it with pure, tender, and constant love to God and man' (p. 7). He makes it clear that holiness is not just about the stopping of anger or bitterness, but rather, becoming like Christ. Holiness therefore is not just about 'not smoking' or 'not swearing', etc, but is deeper than that. Holiness is about reflecting the love of God through your own life. It is not about legalism, rules and regulations, but about consecration to God.

What about this quote from Jonathan Edwards about consecration (when he was a student), 'I have this day solemnly renewed my covenant and dedication. I have been before God, and given myself and all that I am and have to Him, so that I am not in any respect my own, and can claim no right to myself- to this understanding, to this will, these affections; and have no right to this body- to this tongue, these hands, these feet; no right to these senses. I have given every power to God, so that for the future I will claim no right to myself' (p. 27).

In Brengle's chapter on the sanctification of the body he uses two well known quotes on holiness:

1 Thess 5:23 (KJV) - 'The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.'

Romans 12:1 (NIV) - 'I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.'

You may well know that The Salvation Army's tenth doctrine that derives itself primarily from the 1 Thessalonian 5:23 verse: "We believe that it is the privilege of all believers to be wholly sanctified, and that their whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Find The Salvation Army Doctrines here.

Brengle speaks on sanctifying the tongue. He says, 'While we cannot control the tongues of others, we must control our own, and while we may not be able always to avoid hearing wicked and evil and unclean things, we can avoid saying them' (p. 48). What about the reminder here of the words of the hymnist:

Take my voice, and let me sing
Always, only for my King;
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.
The Way of Holiness from Brengle continues. How about this, 'And one of the blessed things about a holy life is its supernatural, constant, and unconscious influence for good' (p. 52). 
Brengle in typical Salvation Army style, challenges his readers to have a passion for souls. He links holiness with having that passion.
'The zeal of other people blazes up, burns low, and often dies out, but the zeal of a man with a clean heart, full of the Holy Ghost, increases year by year. Others run away from the prayer-meeting, but he holds on. Others do not grieve if souls are not saved but he feels that he must see souls saved, or die. Others are zealous for ‘big goes,’ tea parties, ice-cream suppers, and musical festivals, but nothing pleases him so much as a prayer-meeting where souls are crying for pardon and cleansing, and others are shouting for joy (p. 77-78). 

Samuel Logan Brengle - passionate about holiness as a way of life. A mindset Salvationists and Christians should embrace today.

See also: The greatest challenges facing The Salvation Army today


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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Australia Southern Territory General Change - FIND the Moves here!

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For the 2014 Appointment Changes CLICK HERE.

The Territorial Commander has approved the following appointments: TERRITORIAL HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF THE CHIEF SECRETARY
Margaret Collins Extension Training Officer (including Candidates & Envoys)
(Additional Appointment) Sandy Crowden Field Program Officer John Farquharson Co-ordinator for Training of ESL Cadets & Curriculum
Development Officer (Title Change) Captain
Catherine Spiller Assistant Field Program Officer (Title Change) Rhys Spiller Personnel Officer Brenda Young Assistant Personnel Officer
Bunita Pittaway Employment Plus, Chaplain – Victoria

Stacey Cotton Territorial Planned Giving & Public Relations Consultant
(SAD) Alan Milkins Territorial Finance Projects Manager Gwyneth Rowe THQ Audit Dept, Auditor Peter Walker Territorial Planned Giving & Public Relations Consultant Peter Wright Territorial Public Relations Officer / Chaplain
Jean Cassidy Pastoral Care Officer Ron Cochrane Personnel Projects & Administrative Officer Marjorie Ellis THQ Chaplain Alan Meredith Professional Standards Officer Karen Walker Chaplain to Retired Officers OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY FOR PROGRAMME
Donna Bryan Mission Resources Officer (Title Change) Pam Marshall Territorial Cross Cultural & Indigenous Ministries Consultant /
Melbourne Staff Songsters, Executive Officer (Additional
Appointment) Geneen Wright Assistant Territorial Social Programme Secretary DIVISIONS EASTERN VICTORIA DIVISION
Robert Evans Cranbourne, Corps Officer Vanessa Evans Cranbourne, Corps Officer Gary Grant Ringwood, Corps Officer Julie Grant Ringwood, Corps Officer Bradley Potter Waverley Temple, Corps Officer Katrina Potter Waverley Temple, Corps Officer Leanne Ruthven Divisional Secretary Lisa Venables Divisional Secretary Women's Ministries Captain
David Ebsary Sale, Corps Officer Craig Exon Divisional Youth & Children's Secretary & Divisional
Candidates Secretary

Karinna Exon Divisional Youth & Children's Secretary & Divisional
Candidates Secretary

Nari McGifford Dandenong, Corps Officer Stuart McGifford Dandenong, Corps Officer Allan Morrison Boronia, Ministry Assistant (Additional Appointment) (Title
Change) Naomi Shelton Assistant Divisional Secretary Women's Ministries / Assistant
Divisional Mission Resources Secretary Gaylene Walker Eastcare - Gateways, Chaplain Kelvin Young Eastcare Network, Chaplain Lieutenant
Karen Agnew Boronia, Assistant Corps Officer

Margaret Cochrane Melbourne Hospitals, Chaplain Simon Damen Brimbank City, Corps Officer Graeme Eastley Courts & Prison Services, State Office, Administrative Officer
(Title Change) Colin Eldridge Melbourne Magistrates Court, Chaplain Stephen Ellis Melbourne Magistrates Court, Chaplain Graeme McClimont Special Projects Helen McClimont Special Projects Denise Milkins Northcote, Corps Officer Kaye Reeves Thornbury, Corps Officer Raymond Reeves Thornbury, Corps Officer Andrew (Drew) Ruthven Courts & Prison Services, State Office, Senior Chaplain & State Co-ordinator

Joyleen Stewart Courts & Prison Services, State Office, Administrative Officer/
Relieving Chaplain (Title Change) Elizabeth Wallis Greensborough & Macleod, Corps Officer / Court Chaplain
(Additional Appointment) (Title Change) Elizabeth Walmsley Children's Court, Chaplain Captain
David Davis The Open Door, Chaplain Debbie Serojales Preston, Associate Corps Officer (Title Change) Rod Serojales Preston, Associate Corps Officer (Title Change) Lieutenant
Joanne Brookshaw Craigieburn, Corps Officer Peter Brookshaw Craigieburn, Corps Officer Kathleen Pearce Assistant to Divisional Secretary Aaron Stobie Plenty Valley, Corps Officer

Adye Viney Regional Social Justice Coordinator (Additional Appointment) Karina Wood Top End Social Network, Chaplain / Regional Youth &
Candidates Secretary (Additional Appointment) Captain
Lynn Jones Sunrise Centre, Manager / Drug & Alcohol Services Top End,
Manager (Commencement date to be confirmed) Simon Pickens Palmerston, Corps Officer NORTHERN VICTORIA DIVISION
Christine Ellis Divisional Children's Ministries & Candidates Secretary Richard Ellis Divisional Youth & Candidates Secretary SOUTH AUSTRALIA DIVISION
Bruce Cassidy Court Chaplain Rhonda Elkington Divisional Social Programme Secretary Graham Hill Adelaide Congress Hall, Outreach Worker (Pro Tem)
(Effective 15 October 2012) Dulcie Parnell Retired Officers Chaplain Glenda Savage Noarlunga, Corps Officer Grattan-Jon Savage Noarlunga, Corps Officer Captain
Robert Casburn Campbelltown, Corps Officer Roslyn Casburn Campbelltown, Corps Officer Joy Cassidy Divisional Secretary Women's Ministries Jenni Frost Arndale, Corps Officer Lindsay Frost Arndale, Corps Officer Lieutenant
Adam Mackenroth Berri, Corps Officer Catherine Mackenroth Berri, Corps Officer Debbie Wilson Copper Coast, Corps Officer TASMANIA DIVISION
Heather Jenkins Divisional Candidates Secretary / Divisional Mission
Resources Secretary Linda Miller Kingborough / Huon, Corps Officer Stephen Miller Rural Outreach Chaplain (Title Change) Beth Roberts Clarence City, Corps Officer Kaye Seccombe Divisional Community Care Ministries & Companion Club
Secretary (Additional Appointment) Lieutenant
Katherine Dent Clarence City, Corps Officer Paul Lorimer Hobart Citadel, Corps Officer Robyn Lorimer Hobart Citadel, Corps Officer
Kirsten Elliott Divisional Children's Ministries Secretary / Officer Appraisals
Secretary Warren Elliott Divisional Mission Resources Secretary WESTERN VICTORIA DIVISION
Denise Ashby Ballarat Community Church, Associate Corps Officer /
Community Support Services Manager Andrew Craib Geelong, Corps Officer Jenny Craib Geelong, Corps Officer Diane Romari Horsham, Associate Corps Officer Janette Shepherd Divisional Social Programme Secretary & Victorian State

Major Lyn Cochrane Major Leasa Eldridge Major Dabak Lynn

Lieut-Colonel Robyn Clinch FROM: The Philippines Territory Lieut-Colonel Ronald Clinch FROM: The Philippines Territory Major Alan Milkins FROM: International Headquarters Major Denise Milkins FROM: United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland Major Andrew (Drew) Ruthven FROM: International Headquarters Major Leanne Ruthven FROM: United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland Captain Craig Exon FROM: New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory Captain Karinna Exon FROM: New Zealand, Fiji & Tonga Territory Captain Lynn Jones FROM: Caribbean Territory

Lieut-Colonel Ian E Hamilton Retiring 9 January 2013 Lieut-Colonel Marilyn Hamilton Retiring 1 March 2013
Major Beverley Fernée Retiring 1 January 2013 Major Ronald McMellon Retiring 1 January 2013 Major Patricia Rowe Retiring 1 January 2013
Major Lynette Lindstrom Retiring 9 January 2013 Major Peter Lindstrom Retiring 9 January 2013 Major Brian Rowe Retiring 9 January 2013 Major Christine Watson Retiring 9 January 2013 Major Marsha Watts Retiring 9 January 2013
Major Graeme McClimont Retiring 1 February 2013 Major Helen McClimont Retiring 1 February 2013 Major Wally Spinks Retiring 1 February 2013

Appointment announced with Proclaimers of the Resurrection Cadet spouse Captain William Ng Lieutenant Penny Cooper

APPROVED signed by :
Commissioner Raymond A Finger Territorial Commander The Salvation Army Australia Southern Territory
DATE Thursday 11 October 2012

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Friday, October 5, 2012

What is a Visionary and when should I eat that Pie in the Sky?

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I love thinking about the future. My wife asks, 'What are we having for dinner?' I reply in a daze... 'Hmm... In ten years time I wonder whether curried sausages will still be popular?' She then rolls her eyes and says something like, 'Can you just focus on the here and now for a minute!'

Some people disregard visionaries, because they always have their head in the clouds, looking for a pie to eat. Surely visionaries can be more than just dreamers?

Let's looks at what encapsulates the essence of visionary people.

What is a visionary?

When I speak of someone who is a visionary, I do not have a picture of some naive person living on cloud nine, hoping the world will change. When I think of a visionary, I think of someone who is wanting to transform the present, because they have a picture of the future. A pragmatic visionary is what I advocate for; not some dreamer who lays around all day who is no earthly good! Someone who merely dreams dreams, is a dreamer. A visionary by definition should encapsulate working towards the fulfilment of a vision, so as to set it apart from a dreamer.

A visionary leader is someone who can gather people together to fulfil a particular cause that impacts the future. They help lead people towards a preferable future.

Are we all called to be visionaries?

That's an interesting question. I think we are all called to see an alternative future and work towards it; maybe that's a healthier body, a more cohesive family, etc. If we consider personality profiling, some simply lean towards a visionary nature, while others are administrative junkies, while other personalities are focused on the 'here and now'. My consensus then is that not all are called to be visionaries, but all are called to attempt to understand visionaries and live in a way that seeks to build and grow a better future.

If you are a follower of Jesus, the Spirit of God has inherently woven in you a passion for witnessing the future extension of his kingdom in this world and the life to come. A Christian surely cannot help but have vision of some expression of this kingdom, even though they may not be called to be visionary leaders. A Christian to some degree then should be a visionary.

Leaders as Visionary Leaders

Consider the story of Nehemiah. Nehemiah heard about the walls of his home town Jerusalem had been burned down. Nehemiah prayed and fasted and realised he was to go to Jerusalem, rally the people together and rebuild the walls. Now Nehemiah was a visionary leader. Let me explain why I make that assertion. Half way through taking on this mammoth building project, opposition ramps up, and in fact his own people begin whingeing. (For more on leadership from Nehemiah click here) What does Nehemiah do? He continues to follow through with the vision laid on his heart, and continues to rally the troops to rebuild the walls. He was a visionary leader. He worked hard on the ground, no doubt, but he never lost sight of what he was trying to achieve. The vision drove him to work. The vision inspired him and the people around him to continue to build the walls.

So, are you a visionary?

If you are or desire to be, then pray this with me:

Lord, we pray that we would capture your preferred future for our church, our family, our workplace, our city and our nation. Let the vision drive us to action. Let our passion for redemptive ministry, allow us to overcome any stumbling blocks that seek to hinder our progress. Will you stir in us the presence of the Holy Spirit, that ignites visionary qualities within us, that in turn equips us to lead others to faith and active ministry? Help us have the tenacity of Nehemiah, and the conviction of purpose that he had, in order to fulfil the vision you place on our heart. In Jesus' name we pray! Amen!

If you are a visionary, or your personality leans you that way, then FAN into FLAME the capacity to capture vision, to communicate it and work on achieving it.

God bless.

~ Pete.

--> MORE on Visionary Leadership Here.


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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

An Innovative Salvation Army

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The church is called to be innovative, creative and able to adapt to changing circumstances.

Click here to see an article I wrote published recently in the Journal of Aggressive Christianity on The Salvation Army being an innovative movement.

I think you will enjoy the read.

Thanks to Major Stephen Court for his ongoing passion to be editor of this journal.


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