Jul 26, 2015
Something Greater
Posted by Sarah Walker

A couple of weeks ago, I attended Boundless 2015 - The Salvation Army’s International Congress in London. What a week! Over 15 thousand people gathered together to celebrate 150 years of our church. 
I love being part of big things. I love the atmosphere when you’re at a football game or watching a concert. Everyone’s there for the same purpose - cheering on their team or supporting the star that they love. It’s exciting, it’s emotional, it’s energizing. And at Boundless 2015 I was reminded that in The Salvation Army, we are privileged to be part of something greater. 

There’s few words that describe what it’s like to sing ‘O Boundless Salvation’ in an arena of Salvationists who despite what country they’re from, what situation they are it, what expression of The Salvation Army they’re involved in, are united in worship and united in purpose for our church. 

What an exciting thing it is to be part of a movement that is active in 126 countries, has 15,409 churches and 10,859 community development programs! 

Join us this Sunday as we are reminded what it means to ‘throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and run with perseverance the race marked out for us’. A race that we’re on individually, but also as a movement. A race that God marked out through William and Catherine Booth 150 years ago that is still alive, visionary and purposeful today.

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  • Jul 26, 2015Something Greater
    Jul 26, 2015
    Something Greater
    Posted by Sarah Walker

    A couple of weeks ago, I attended Boundless 2015 - The Salvation Army’s International Congress in London. What a week! Over 15 thousand people gathered together to celebrate 150 years of our church. 
    I love being part of big things. I love the atmosphere when you’re at a football game or watching a concert. Everyone’s there for the same purpose - cheering on their team or supporting the star that they love. It’s exciting, it’s emotional, it’s energizing. And at Boundless 2015 I was reminded that in The Salvation Army, we are privileged to be part of something greater. 

    There’s few words that describe what it’s like to sing ‘O Boundless Salvation’ in an arena of Salvationists who despite what country they’re from, what situation they are it, what expression of The Salvation Army they’re involved in, are united in worship and united in purpose for our church. 

    What an exciting thing it is to be part of a movement that is active in 126 countries, has 15,409 churches and 10,859 community development programs! 

    Join us this Sunday as we are reminded what it means to ‘throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and run with perseverance the race marked out for us’. A race that we’re on individually, but also as a movement. A race that God marked out through William and Catherine Booth 150 years ago that is still alive, visionary and purposeful today.

  • Jul 19, 2015Praise Him
    Jul 19, 2015
    Praise Him
    Posted by Lt Peter Gott

    Praise the LORD, praise God in his sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him with the harp and lyre, praise Him with timbrel and dancing, praise Him with the strings and pipe, and praise Him with the clash of cymbals. Let everything that has breath, Praise the LORD. (Psalm 150 1:6)

    I’m not sure, but I think there is a message here, what do you think? God is so awesome that we can all sometimes get a little bit complacent with our praise. I know I sure do. But it doesn’t take much to change this habit…

    If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. (1Peter 4:11)

    I often see things that amaze me. In nature, on the street, (when my daughter cleans her room). Over the years I have learned to give praise for almost everything. I acknowledge all that He does. Not just all he gives me but all things. You see when you do this, often you connect with God more regularly and from here you can quickly build a more consistent dialogue with Him. Simple praises can often turn into simple prayers which can build to heartfelt prayers and then onto a deep and fulfilling love for Him which is what His heart desires. To get from there to here, praise Him. Even for the little things and over time you will build a powerful relationship with God and see your spirit really take flight.

  • Jul 12, 2015Have You Heard
    Jul 12, 2015
    Have You Heard

    It’s crazy to think sometimes that of all the people in a service that God has a message specifically for you. He in His omnipotent power… a message just for you? Don’t be surprised it happens all the time. Think back to a time when a visiting Preacher or even your own Captain has delivered a message that you could relate to so well that you think it was written as if they were reading your mind. 

    A couple of points here. In this time and day, so much is happening around you that it affects many people in the same way. Strain on finances, troubles with a particular relationship or awkward moments between family members. Global issues impact our lives too. Wars, famine, poverty and an endless line of lunatics doing the unbelievable.

    Often God speaks with a Global message for all Christians in a way that it simply is a message for you as well. He speaks through that particular preacher at the time to connect with you and help you deal with whatever situation is troubling you at the time.
    This is why it is crucial for you to attend whenever you physically can. Many times when the Devil wants you to stay in bed or take on that extra task instead of attending, and you make the extra effort, His word just seems that much more pertinent and more powerful.

  • Jul 5, 2015Standing in the Evil Day
    Jul 5, 2015
    Standing in the Evil Day

    Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.

    Powerful words and inspiring to many Christians. But what does it mean to you? For some it means the ultimate stand against evil. To boldly look death in the eye, strike ones chest a scream “take me if you dare!” To others it means standing strong in faith and persevering in times of persecution.

    It can also mean that as trial and tribulation come your way that you can find comfort in God. Knowing that whatever comes your way, you will, with Gods love and peace get through it.

    Sometimes standing firm can also mean a shoulder to cry on. A kind ear for a friend or stranger to lend. What they may need at that point in time could be strength, your strength. Their pain or desperation might test you as a Christian and in those times, stand firm. Bring them to the realisation that with Gods impenetrable armour around them, they too can make it through.

    Many and varied things come against us that are tricks of the Devil and he wants us to fall victim to his deceit, but Gods word is clear in Ephesians 6 v 13… Stand Firm! God is with you and He will not fail you. Your armour doesn’t have to be death defying, it can often be much simpler than that.

  • Jun 28, 2015This Is Our Moment
    Jun 28, 2015
    This Is Our Moment

    This is our moment to bring change to win the world for Christ, by His Grace at work in us. This is our moment to be more resolved to win those people, who are OUR PEOPLE, it is happening, but is in happening through our lives? Just as Lord turned the light on for the Christians of the early church and the power of Pentecost became their moment, this, too, is our moment for our Army, our Church of today to reach our world with the claims of the Gospel.

    If the bible is true in your heart then use its power to meet people where they are. Take your preferred stories or parable and commit them to memory and be proud of them. Use the power of the Holy Spirit to prompt you and when the time comes relay the claims of the Gospel.

    Often one reach-out to a friend, family member or even complete stranger can be the moment that your favorite Gospel saying, quote, story or parable comes to the fore. If God has prompted you to use it, the Holy Spirit will guide you to the person or people it was memorized for.

    THIS IS OUR MOMENT. Your Moment. You can bring change and win the world for Christ. Even if it is one person at a time.

  • Jun 21, 2015An Ordinary Life
    Jun 21, 2015
    An Ordinary Life
    Posted by Sarah Walker

    High-five to the people that decided Australia needed Netflix. I love Netflix. If you don’t know what it is, Google it right now. Sign up. Wait for your life to be changed forever. 

    You’ll soon find out that it’s an online database of movies, TV series and documentaries. You can pretty much watch whatever you want, whenever you want, and you can also save a list of what you want to watch in the future. Sound good? It is. 

    The other day I realised that my ‘to watch’ list was primarily made up of TV shows that are set in real life and they’re about (relatively) normal people. Aside from Star Wars and the occasional superhero movie, I’m not really into fantasy or sci-fi or anything like that. I can’t relate to it and it’s hard to believe. I just don’t really get the drawcard.

    Granted, most of what’s on my list are shows about classy lawyers who live in New York City, and while I’ll probably never live that life, at least I feel like I could potentially be in most of the situations the characters get into in their everyday lives. I can connect with the characters because I feel like they're living in the real world.

    In a similar way, I sometimes struggle to connect with some of the big hero stories in The Bible. Stories like Moses and the parting of The Red Sea or David defeating Goliath - incredible stuff! But it can leave you feeling a little inadequate, and it’s hard to relate to these people sometimes. Not that I’m suggesting these stories are trivial or irrelevant, but sometimes they just make my life seem a little average and lame. 

    And that’s why I love the story of Ruth. It’s average, everyday life stuff. I can relate to it. It’s a totally ordinary story, about ordinary people in ordinary life circumstances that I can actually connect to. It’s a story that shows us that despite how ordinary our lives are, God is at work. He wants to use us and he is faithful to those who decide to follow him.

  • Jun 14, 2015An Update is Available
    Jun 14, 2015
    An Update is Available
    Posted by Phil Inglis

    “Free Passage” was the message on the boom gate entry screen as we pulled up. There were two lanes entering the car park, on this lane the boom gate was up and the way unobstructed. However, this being the city, the idea of free parking was a little odd and the more cautious occupants of our car felt as though it could be a trick. If we went through without collecting a ticket we could be charged a full day’s parking rate when we tried to leave the car park. So I obediently reversed the car and approached the boom gate in the adjacent lane. We collected our ticket, the boom gate rose, and we entered the car park. 

    It’s hard to accept that something could be free, especially when you are so accustomed to having to pay. Sometimes it’s good enough to collect a ticket in an adjacent lane and hope for the best, but what if… How would things have been different if a man was standing there assuring drivers (or their passengers) that the car park was free, that there was no need to get a ticket. Of course, it may have depended on who they were wouldn’t it? If it was a guy straight off the street you may have a hard time believing that it was free, even if it was the Mayor, he doesn’t own the car park, it may still be hard to believe. What if it was someone dressed in the uniform of the company? What if you looked closely at the logo on his uniform, inspected his credentials, you still might think it was a trick. But what if you had a friend in the car who you knew worked for the company, you knew this friend, they are reliable and honest and they said it was free for the day. When it comes to unbelievable things, it’s often not until someone we know tells us it’s true that we believe it. 

    In some ways this is similar to the primary work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. The company, ‘God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit’ have decided that all who enter by the gate raised by God the Son can have freedom, but it sounds too good to be true, its hard to believe so God the Holy Spirit comes and lives in our car, and as we get to know him, we find he is honest and trustworthy, so we begin to believe that whosoever will, can have freedom. 

    Of course, when we drove toward the exit of the car park a few hours later we found that all the booms we raised and we were free to exit.

  • May 24, 2015An Update is Available
    May 24, 2015
    An Update is Available
    Posted by Phil Inglis

    Many people can probably give a quick and accurate description of who God and Jesus are. But what about the Holy Spirit? This part of the Trinity is a little more difficult to explain. Is he your conscience? Is he karma? Is he those goosebumps you get during a good worship song? Or is he something much more? We've heard about the Holy Spirit. He flickers in and out of the Old Testament like a ghost. In the New Testament, he's a supernatural force that gives ordinary men the power of God. He appears throughout the Bible as wind, smoke, fire, and even a dove. But what does the Holy Spirit look like today? As there is so much mystery around the person of the Holy Spirit, we are going to spend three weeks exploring the Holy Spirit, and His purpose in our lives.
    Every once in a while my phone notifies me that an update is available for its system software. Whenever this happens all the other phones and iPads will also pop up notifications to say they need to be updated. Out of the 5 people in my house I am usually the first to update. I do it as soon as I can. I can't wait to see what new programs appear, what new functionality is enabled, what improvements the new update will bring. Rebecca however, is not so keen. She feels that if the phone works, why does it need to be fixed? She complains that it will take time, it will change things around, it will move icons, it will ask her to put in all her passwords again, and usually as soon as she updates the system software a whole lot of apps will also want to be to be updated to work with the new system software.

    Just before Jesus left to go back to heaven, he told his followers that he would 'send' them the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost, to live in them. He told them that this Holy Spirit would live in them and transform their lives. But it's possible to live life with this notification popping up, all without actually accepting the Holy Spirit in your own life. If we are going to live life fully upgraded, we have to embrace the supernatural. Unless we acknowledge the Holy Spirit, we are just going to live ordinary lives. Our lives might be full of wisdom, good friends and generosity. But for all who seek to follow God, who embrace the love shown to us by Jesus and who accept the gifts and blessings of God, there is another level to life. There is a supernatural level.

    Join us this Sunday at 10am because "An Update is Available"

  • May 17, 2015Rich in God
    May 17, 2015
    Rich in God
    Posted by Phil Inglis
    Series: Being Rich

    In the Salvation Army we acknowledge the problems caused by gambling in our society. However, we have to admit that before we were born we won the lottery. Out of all the places in the world we could have ended up in life, we ended up in Australia. According to the UN Development Index from 2013, Australia ranks 2nd (behind Norway) in the world when looking at income, life expectancy and standard of living. You won the lottery. There was nothing you could do to choose where you were born, there was nothing you could do to get the opportunities you have had in life. Think about the times we live in. You could have been born in the middle ages, in the ancient world… you could have had the luxury of no electric lights and no internet. You could have been born in a time when people didn’t know what the electron does or how to make electricity with it. You could have been born in a time when it took days to travel to Melbourne or Brisbane or lots of places. You could have been born in a time where telephones didn’t exist. Let’s face it, you won the lottery. There was nothing you did to deserve what you have, nothing you did to bring about the opportunities you had. I trust that you have made the most of the opportunities God did give you, but we remember it was God who gave us these opportunities.

    For whatever reason, God has decided that you are rich. When many in the world live on less than a dollar a day, many of you have a car, public transport and housing options. Many of you even have houses for your cars. This being the final week of our Being Rich series we want to finish by understanding that there is a good way to be rich, and a not so good way of being rich. Taking a look at a rich man that Jesus tells a story about we are going to see what Jesus says is the best way to be rich, rich in what matters most, rich in God. Jesus says, "People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over [material wealth] things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep yourself in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” (Luke 12:30-31, MSG)

  • May 10, 2015Rich In Good Deeds
    May 10, 2015
    Rich In Good Deeds
    Posted by Rebecca Inglis
    Series: Being Rich

    My mother was crazy! Perhaps influenced by my Father, she left Australia with him in 1976 and backpacked across the world to London. Once they arrived in London they prepared and left for a 3 year mission trip to Chikankata, Zambia, Africa. This is not the craziest part of this story however, because during that 3 years in Africa my mother gave birth, not just to me, but also to my little sister. I don’t know many comfortable, wealthy, western people who would decide to have their children in an isolated mission in the middle of Africa. My mother is crazy! Of course, I enjoy the fact that I am blonde, blue-eyed, pale-skinned and can claim, straight-faced, that I am African.

    While I don’t remember being born, I know of the stories of serving God in Africa. The sacrifices, the joys, the struggles and the victories. Every few months, someone from ’the Africa crowd’ would come to Sydney and my siblings and I would hear stories of life in ‘Chik'. During the 1970s hundreds of people went to Chikankata from the UK, Canada, USA, South Africa and all over Australia, and they forged strong bonds as they did ‘good works’ together and it seems like almost all of them came to visit!

    This week we are celebrating mothers, but we are also considering the call to be ‘rich in good deeds’, which is quite fitting I think. As we turn to the scriptures we'll consider more about the good works God planned in advance for us to do in our lives. It may not be spending years in the developing world, it may just be helping someone to the car with their shopping, but you never know…