May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As I read this, God encouraged me . We have to be true to how God ‘wired us’, be true to Him and His calling on our life. Let’s keep the ‘main thing the main thing’
This week, I was deeply moved, challenged, and confirmed by a man with a passion for Christ! His name is Major Dean Hinson and he is the president of The Salvation Army Evangeline Booth Bible College in Atlanta.
As a Salvation Army sergeant in the Kentucky/Tennessee Division, I was required to attend officers councils this week where Major Hinson was the speaker. As you may know from reading my blogs, I find much preaching to be dry, shallow, and mental rather than spiritual. However, not so with Major Hinson.
As he spoke, his passionate love for God was evident as he was frequently on the verge of tears. His words penetrated my heart and the hearts of my fellow officers.
As Major Hinson opened up his heart and shared about Abraham’s willingness and courage to hear and obey God rather than being bound by tradition, my courage grew stronger. Abraham…
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Why have Christians become so insular? Why has Church attendance dwindled? Why do Church attenders reserve the right to call it ‘their church’?
These are just some of the questions and discussions that I have had with people recently as part of my Street Ministry.
So what are the answers? Is there any? Have we lost the passion, have we forgotten the command, the instruction that Jesus issued;
“I have been given all authority in heaven and earth. Therefore go and make disciples in all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and then teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you; and be sure of this – that I am with you always, even to the end of the world . “
Every person has an important, God-given role to play in helping to fulfill the Great Commission.
The greatest challenge ever given to man by the greatest person who has ever lived. No matter how wealthy, famous, brilliant, or powerful you may be, you will never give yourself to any cause that can compare with this life-changing, even world-changing, call of God.
No matter how many honors, awards, or achievements may be placed in your hands, nothing can even begin to compare with this command of our Lord Jesus Christ to help take His message of love and forgiveness to every person in every community, in every city, in every country of the world and make disciples of all nations.
Today we live in a world of rapid and radical change. Men’s hearts are filled with fear and dread, frustration and despair. Mankind has proven incapable of coping with the pressing problems of our time – the population explosion, the pollution of the environment, the rising tide of crime and violence, sexual rebellion, alcoholism, drug addiction, abortion, pornography, urban sprawl, and wide spread political, social and moral decay.
The Power of the Gospel
Oh, what an hour for Christians to become involved in the greatest spiritual harvest since Pentecost! This dark and desperate hour in the affairs of mankind is an hour of destiny, a time of unprecedented opportunity for Christians. This is the hour for which we were born — to set in motion a mighty, sweeping spiritual revolution that will turn the tide and reveal to mankind that the glorious gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ offers the basic solutions to every problem facing mankind.
This is not ‘My Blogg’ but wanted to share it – may we all continue to share in ‘the Great Commission’
The Salvation Army is an unique body of Christ is it not?
With that being said, each corps is unique. Each corps has its own specific strength(s) and its own specific weakness(es). We can all recognize that challenges do come to our corps structure & ministry. Sometimes soldiers can look at the present issues happening in the corps and cast a blanket of blame all upon the corps officers. Sometimes the corps officer can look at the present issues happening in the corps and cast a blanket of blame all upon the soldiers. Sometimes the blame is shared…sometimes it is not.
I do not wish to imply that all our corps are going through problems and concerns ALL THE TIME. This is certainly not the case. There have been some wonderful mountaintop experiences. There have also been wonderful moments of fellowship, where we share with each other what is on…
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Is ‘The Church’ ‘Fit 4 Mission’?
The Church is dying at least in the traditional sense.
Perhaps it is not visibly seen in the mega church realms yet, but something is taking place in churches all around the United States. If one were to look solely at church attendance through the lens of entities such as the Barna group, one would see that the decline is quite remarkable and seems to continue trending this way for years to come.
Perhaps we have been asking the “why” question for quite some time now.
Perhaps that’s not the right question.
Perhaps the question we should be asking ourselves is this: “Is this really a bad thing?”
We are currently living in a world where spiritualism is on the rise while an individual identification of a specific religion is at an all time low. One might say that this is a terrible trend. One could argue, and rightly so, that…
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Recently in our corps something happened.
No, it wasn’t another rousing chorus of “O Boundless Salvation”. It wasn’t another meal around the table, although those are rather nice.
Instead, there in the sanctuary of our corps, in the place where lives are changed and hearts transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, in that very room…something was damaged – The Mercy Seat.
It happened because some corps kids were playing through out the building…scratch that. It happened because not “some” kids, but MY kids happened to be playing in the corps building (Why is it always the Officer’s Kids? Really??). They ended up in the sanctuary. Perhaps the lure of the microphones and musical instruments were too much. Regardless of how they ended up there, they were there. In the process of scaling the mercy seat, my eldest’s foot got caught on the lip of the…
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I’m going to go ahead and answer that question right now: No, she will not.
No amount of pastoral eloquence, organization, insightfulness, amicability, or charisma will take your congregation back to back to its glory days.
What then can your pastor do? She can make your board meetings longer with prayer and Bible study. She can mess with your sense of familiarity by changing the order of worship and the arrangement of the sanctuary. She can play those strange new songs and forget about your favorite old hymns. She can keep on playing those crusty old hymns instead of that hot new contemporary praise music. She can bug you incessantly about more frequent celebration of Communion. She can ignore your phone…
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Lady Gaga did it on a fancy chair, in full Goth make-up, stony-faced and, of course, looking just a little bit weird.
Not one to miss the chance to remove his shirt, David Beckham managed to emerge soaked and still look like he was posing for a Vogue fashion spread, while chef Gordon Ramsay oozed significantly less style as he sprawled on the ground, squealing and flapping like a suffocating salmon.
Everyone from Bill Gates to Oprah Winfrey, Mark Zuckerberg to Britney Spears, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and, perhaps less famous but closer to home; even I, Graham Barratt have done it. And so, it seems, has just about everyone on our Facebook friends list.
If you’ve not heard of this summer’s ice bucket challenge – the viral nomination game that has swept social media across the globe – then you must have spent the Summer, marooned on a Desert Island with no wi-fi or hiding in fear of being the next one tagged to do it.
In a stroke of genius, a relatively little-known charity which supports sufferers of motor neurone condition ALS (short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) challenged supporters to take part in a relatively harmless three-bucket cold water – better still, icy water – challenge in which they drench themselves, make a small donation and nominate three others to do the same.
Within days, the chain mail-style challenge had gone viral. And as it has spread, the three-bucket challenge has morphed into virtually any kind of soaking using any scale of bucket and occasionally extreme examples of bucket throwing ferocity.
Now, it seems, pretty much everyone has posted a video of themselves being showered in cold water, with some even managing to remember to make the charity donation.
Sometimes it feels like changing the world; (our little part of it) is just too daunting and insurmountable a challenge, it would seem that one has so little power to really make any kind of a difference to some of the monumental tragedies that are around us in our world all the time. Yet, if we all stayed in that mindset, we would become a self-fulfilling prophecy and nothing would change.
But sometimes, something comes along that shows in action what happens when multitudes of individuals each take one seemingly inconsequential step, with a unified purpose. For me, the world-changing aspect of this particular social media phenomenon is a clear demonstration of what can happen when many people all combine to take one small step each towards a massive target to change one aspect of our world that would be impossible for any one individual to achieve alone.
This of course is not limited to the ice bucket challenge. The point is a much broader one – each of us can choose to be proactive in some small way in our own community, in our own little part of the world; while at the same time inspiring and encouraging others to do the same. And that is how, ultimately, each of us can be involved in changing the world.
If every Christian is committed to serving God wholeheartedly right where He places them, our world will be a much better place.
PERSONAL CHALLENGE – Can I please request help from my blogg followers, my BP sections (Youth Groups) are requesting votes to receive a ‘Monetary Award’ please can I request your assistance : The Challenge is that you only have 4 Days in which to complete ‘ The Challenge’.
- Text ‘VOTE GGY’ to 61119 (UK Only)
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