Sunday, May 29, 2016

An Open Letter To Officer Kids...

Dear Officer Kids (OK's),

During and after the Red Shield Appeal a lot of people will be thanked for volunteering their time to collect for The Salvation Army.  While we appreciate and value the contribution of Corps and Community members, I want you to know how much we appreciate and value YOU!

I am a Corps Officer and have two children, now 16 years old, who have helped us with the Red Shield Appeal for as long as they were able to walk.  While they have mostly done this willingly, there have been times that it has been out of a sense of obligation because mum and dad are Officers.  Not only have they contributed long hours after school and on weekends but they have had to put up with mum and dad being absent for long hours.  The word 'volunteer' for Officer Kids often feels more like being 'conscripted' (ask mum and dad what that means).

I see your photos on Facebook out collecting with mum and dad and with other teams.  I see how many days you are at shopping centres, how many kilometres you walk (or are pushed in a pram), and how many hours you spend on intersections.  

I see how tired you look at the end of the Red Shield Appeal weekend with the knowledge you have to do it all again the following week.  

I want you to know that you are the real heroes of the Red Shield Appeal!  

Because of your patience, your parents are able to organise and coordinate the whole Red Shield Appeal.

Because of your presence, your parents are able to give the hours they do throughout the entire Red Shield Appeal.

Because of your participation, your parents are able to collect the amount of money needed by the Red Shield Appeal.

While everyone else is being rightfully thanked for their efforts, I want to personally thank YOU!  On behalf of Salvation Army Officers everywhere who have AWESOME kids just like you, I want you to know we couldn't do it without YOU!  To Officer Kids everywhere...THANK YOU!!

With love and appreciation,

A grateful Dad and Corps Officer

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Legacy of Marney's Ministry

As we celebrated the life and ministry of Major Marney Turner today we heard a number of inspiring tributes for a woman who loved the Lord she served, lived the message she preached and left a legacy in the lives she touched.  Like everybody who gathered to honour this mighty warrior of Christ, my journey of faith and growth as a leader has been significantly shaped by Marney's ministry and messages over many years.

In 1990 Len and Marney Turner were appointed as Corps Officers (Ministers) to Glenroy Corps, which was my home church in The Salvation Army.  Their appointment came at a transition in my life when I was repositioning myself to pursue God's calling to become a Salvation Army Officer. This season was a catalyst for an extraordinary time of learning and spiritual growth for me as I read widely and listened intently in preparation for a lifetime of ministry ahead.  One of my learning styles is to take copious notes to solidify new insights in my mind and multiply their impact to others.  True to my personality type I've kept every one of my notebooks, including those that contain my notes taken from the sermons Len and Marney preached at Glenroy!  

So, to extend her legacy even further, here are some hightlights from Marney's sermons in 1991 that demonstrate the consistency of her message and ministry as 'God's Soldier', faithfully preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ...

"Worship is more than a routine meeting.  Worship is a relationship of love." (13/1/1991)

"Christianity and racial prejudice are a complete contradiction." (20/1/1991)

"Neglect your prayer life and you will go stale." (27/1/1991)

"When we criticise our brother and sister in the Lord we criticise Jesus." (10/2/1991)

"The longer we are Christians the more tempted we are to take God's grace for granted!" (24/2/1991)

"Jesus brought comfort for the disturbed and disturbed the comfortable." (3/3/1991)

"Many Christians have experienced salvation but are still bound in 'grave clothes' - they elect to leave them on."  (14/4/1991)

"Don't lay down your cross and pick up something else." (28/4/1991)

"Sometimes we need to be wounded to be able to bear better fruit." (12/5/1991)

"Apart from Jesus, I have nothing!" (4/8/1991)

"People need to see a resoluteness in us.  We can't compromise under any circumstances."  (11/8/1991)

"Stop playing church and play Christianity (Jesus)!!" (18/8/1991)

"Keep your first love, keep within whispering distance of Jesus." (18/8/1991)

"God gives me everything I need to finish the race." (25/8/1991)

"Don't let the devil rob you of the joy of Jesus - stand up to him in Jesus name!" (1/9/1991)

"We must fight for souls.  We are a SALVATION Army.  The world must hear the gospel!" (29/9/1991)

"Be a soul-active Corps, not a re-active Corps." (29/9/1991)

"There is power in the cleansing blood of Jesus to be an overcomer." (6/10/1991)

"If you are going to bring glory to God through your testimony then abstain from all appearances of evil."   (13/10/1991)

"If you are rejected because of your commitment, then PRAISE GOD!" (27/10/1991)

"Earthly relationships will one day be no more, but a relationship with Jesus is eternal." (24/11/1991)

"It is our birthright to be free from the accusations from Satan." (8/12/1991)

"Christmas goes beyond the baby - remember the cross." (15/12/1991)

"How long are we prepared to wait and remain faithful to God?" (22/12/1991)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

LifeLines #6

Feeling depressed, anxious or stressed?  

LifeLines offers biblical wisdom as a source of HOPE for today and tomorrow.



Jesus took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled.  "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch." Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed... Mark 14:33-34

Facing the darkest hours of His life, Jesus experienced some of the most painful human emotions common to anybody who is familiar with the 'dark night of the soul'.  In His distress, Jesus took some of His closest friends with Him for support rather than journeying alone.  In His sorrow, Jesus cried out to His Father in heaven for strength rather than relying on His own resources.  Through the presence of people and the power of prayer Jesus found solace despite the darkness that surrounded Him.  Jesus was indeed "hard pressed on every side, but He was not crushed; He was perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed" (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).  Like Jesus, in your 'distress and trouble' you do not have to journey alone!  Surround yourself with trusted friends and seek God in prayer.