We have some great warriors in our corps. Take on retired officer we have…was instrumental in the Army moving into Romania and was key in equipping several hospitals and orphanages in Rominia…all after she retired! She cornered General John Gowans after a congress and told him to send officers to Romania…and he did!

She has such a heart for these people…it shows. A true warrior desperatly trying to support soem blood and fire comrades who do not think twice about living the life of a soldier of Jesus.

The war rages on more than one front! We are an international Army.

yours in the Pill trenches.

Andrew C

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You have to choose your warfare. How are you going to fight the war you are in at the moment? There is such a big temptation in life just to amble through. The greatest enemy tactic must be to make us forget there is a war.

There have been adverts on TV recently for a documentry about how the British forces used pornography seduce the German soldiers thus making them weak targets (or something to that effect). Two things came to me about that. First of all, yeah, our enemy uses some of the same tactics, particularly amongst men to make us weak, it can be that specific at times. The ment amongst us have to be like Timothy as he was urged by Paul to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love and gentleness, fighting the good fight of faith (1 Tim 6: 11-12)

But secondly, more generally, the enemy will seek to make us at ease, to slow up, to relax a bit…and it works…especially in the lazy days of summer. To quote a phrase “are you forgetting there is a war on?”

I need to keep my warfare in my mind. Every hello, every encounter with a person is a chance to fight agaisnt the enemy’s cause. if we don’t choose our warfare, and by that I mean constantly re-align our will to the fight, we will cease to fight and we become the tea-sipping religious character from every soap opera and drama in the world.

yours in the trenches

Andrew

Preparing to begin our first cycle of pastoral visitation. Made some appointments already. We have 63 soldiers on the roll, and yeah, a few of them need some TLC, some need a special touch, some need to experience a special touch of grace in abundant measure, others actually need some encouragement to step back on track with God and praise God, there are some who are moving on well in their walk with Jesus.

In a strange way, the people who have “obvious” concerns are the easy ones to care for although the Healer is needed. The difficult ones are the people who have lost sight of their covenant and calling. The challenge of soldiership, discipleship for that matter, is that it is not like joining the boys brigade or the brownies. Have you looked at the Soldiers Covenant recently? Its actually quite radical. It is an extreme expression of discipleship and more and more it appears to me that a lot of people sign it but don’t get to grips with it. I sense that will be a battle that needs fought in the coming days.

The fantastic thing is that we have a prayer warrior working for us at the corps part-time as a ministry assitant. Unlike some ministry assistants who work at admin etc, ours works at discipleship issues, outreach projects, she fuels the passion for prayer in the church and she takes on a fair share pastoral visitation. And thats just her paid work…she works tirelessly “out of hours” giving our SAY (youth group) positive direction and discipleship. She is the only reason I would consider cloning…but hey, God is into developing his people and thier gifts. I am sure there are more warriors like her.

We’re getting ready for big things in Pill. We’ve covenanted together with each other and with God to build his temple in response to a word of prophecy given by the previous CO. God is so going to honour it and so will we!

yours in the trenches of the Pill war, preparing to go over the top!

Andrew

We were so overwhelmed on Sunday with the people who responded to the message. Several knelt in re-dedication at the Mercy Seat and a large proportion of the corps signed a covenant to strive to build God’s temple, His Kingdom where we are. God was really good. We had some people renew their relationship with the corps after long absences and the hall was full in spite of people being on holiday.

Particular soldier, both he and his wife do not keep well, haven’t been around for ages…so grateful to have the opportunity to visit them soon after a long absence of meaningful contact. If we can’t keep the people we got, there is sumthing wrong. Sure, personalities clash and all the rest of it, but we sign in covenant to be true to each other as well as to God. I’ve always advocated open and honest relationships and I hope that honesty and integrity will be key here. Praying for complete restoration in that situation.

I just thank God he has given us the privelege to be here.

yours overwhelmed

Andrew

Well, we’ve had a good chance to get an rough idea of what happens in the corps through the week. All I can say is that our “hunch” has been confirmed and we have a bit of a rocket that is waiting to go off…there is soooo much potential in this corps.

We’re really looking forward to our first Sunday. Praying that God will move in a mighty way.

yours in Jesus

Andrew

So, Commissioning has come and gone, we’ve left William Booth College and have moved to Pill, on the edge of Bristol. Something my Corps Sergeant Major shared with me when he came to visit has stuck with me so far in our few days here. Apparently, the area where our quarters is situated is nicknamed “the pit.” This area is seen as being a dumping ground of the local authority for troubled families, single-parent families, families cheating the system somehow. God is just so good in giving us the opportunity to dig in the pit for gold. It may mean getting mucky.

We had the opportunity today to see a lot of the residents of Pill as they turned out for one of their annual summer community days. It was a happy occassion, but looking beyond the festivity there were the 13 year olds wandering around with cans of beer, smoking cigarettes with next to nothing on…is there gold there? I am sure there is.

The church was sadly invisible in the community today. How can we keep God under wraps?

yours in the fight

Andrew