I am a soldier

Came across this poem and used it in worship yesterday.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior, of the army of my God.
The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer.
The Holy Bible is my code of conduct.
Faith, prayer and the word are my weapons of warfare.

I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, and I am enlisted for eternity.
I will either retire in this army at the Rapture or die in this army;
But I will not get out, sell out, be talked out.

I am faithful, I am capable, and dependable.
If God needs me, I am there.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior. I am not a baby.
I do no need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked up
or pepped up.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior.
No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me or lure me.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior. I am not a wimp.
I am in my place, saluting my King, obeying his orders, praising his name
And building his Kingdom.

I am a soldier, a prayer warrior.
No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy or give me handouts.
I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for or catered to.

I am committed.
I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around.
I cannot be discouraged enough to turn me aside.
I cannot lose enough to cause me to quit.

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The War is heating up…

As fully expected, the war intensified at our Healing Presence weekend. Amidst a whole lot of grace, blessing, wholeness and a strong sense of the presence of the Holy Spirit came a barrage of attack. You could almost say ‘hallelujah’ if it were not for the fact that some of the resistance was from within.

We’re still pressing on for freedom for our own people. We have seen many of our key local officers come under attack in some way, either physically or mentally, or through the physical, mental or emotional sickness of family members. Many other corps people are sick in body, mind or spirit.

We sensed God’s call again to prayer…calling us to be an Army advancing on our knees. What does that really look like? I strongly sense the need for sustained prayer in all forms.

Bill Hybels said in one of his books, “If you want to know how popular a denomination is, go to its morning service. If you want to know how popular a preacher is, go to the evening service. If you want to know how popular Jesus is, go to the prayer meeting.”

Well, well, well.

yours
Andrew

My War

Well, here’s hoping that normal bloggin can resume!

So, the last couple of days I’ve been blogging about how I’m feeling at the moment. Which, of course, doesn’t really reflect how I feel now, but I have a genuine feeling of ‘disturbance’ and thats usually interesting. Thats what I get for asking that God would disturb me.

The one thing that is troubling me is that at the moment I don’t have a ‘personal’ ministry. What I mean by that is this….yes, I have the corps ministry with all that goes with that. You know, the preaching, teaching, leading, envisioning…all that. Basically, I have had very little opportunity recently to get involed personally in a direct way in evangelism and spreading the Kingdom.

Looking back, I’ve ALWAYS had something that has been a ministry ‘apart from’ but ‘part of’ my Army ministry. I mean, I’ve always did what I’ve done as a salvationist, but not necessarily with other salvationists or even specificially related to my immediate responsibilites to a particular corps.

A big part of that has always been to do with the rougher end of society. Since I was a young salvationist, I’ve always personally been involved with ministering to the homeless. As a young lad of 16, I used to spend my pocket money on a can of soup, water it down and pour it into a flask and head to Glasgow to be what I could be to whoever looked as if then needed a cup of watery soup.

At Bible college it was part of my responsibility as Evangelism Outreach Co-ordinator to do that, so again, a part of my salvationist calling worked out in other ways. Again at Dennistoun, when the corps was really getting me down, I joined up with a local church and offered to cook soup every week for the prostitutes and pimps etc. Making that soup was like administering the sacraments. I really was. And I miss that.

At training college, I was part of the Soho team. It is such a common thread of my personal ministry and I miss it badly. I have a heart for the poor and I miss the poor. I meet Jesus when I meet the poor. I mean, I meet him elsewhere, but nowhere so tangible as sitting on the ground giving a cup of something to someone. I might do something about that…

Apart from that, I’ve always had opportunity to have the time for some personal evangelistic enterprise. Since I found Jesus, I’ve always invested personal time in evangelism, again, as a salvationist, but purely personal initiative and not something corps organised. The Salvation Army is a part of who I am, and I guess thats why its like that.

I am really desperate for just a little bit of time where I, myself, can lead by example in having that degree of personal outreach/evangelism. Its funny, there is mention of that kinda thing in the Os & Rs for Officers…talks about the need for an officer to fight his own individual war too.

I pray that God will disturb me that little bit more so that I can just sense again that urgency that frees me to see truly what is important and what is despensible in my current life/ministry pattern to engage in my own war. Know what I mean?

yours
Andrew

Saw this and loved it…

Northwest rolls out “Famous Doughnuts” nationwide
by Aimee Sheridan

Unprecedented. That’s the word Salvation Army advisory board member Lee Stiles used to describe the national launch of The Salvation Army Famous Doughnut. “The brand concept went from dream to almost full national distribution in 18 months. That is unprecedented for a new brand to the market,” said Stiles. “Major well-known food conglomerates can do that, but I doubt a brand new to the market ever has.”Starting Feburary 27, Kroger bakeries in Ohio, Indiana, and South Carolina will be distributing the doughnuts to their stores in Alabama, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Illinois, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Missouri.The Salvation Army Famous Doughnut first made its debut on the front lines of World War I when a Salvation Army lassie took the meager rations she had and fried them up in a soldier’s helmet. The Northwest Division of The Salvation Army launched the doughnut in Pacific Northwest stores just over one year ago and it took off, garnering instant media attention and loyal fans. Then the work began to take the Famous Doughnut to the rest of the nation.“I guess you could say the product has been in development for 87 years,” Stiles said.Thanks to visionary leadership in The Salvation Army across the country, strong partnerships with the mix, package, bakery and retail partners, the doughnuts are an opportunity for new visibility and funding for The Salvation Army across the United States. About seven cents for each box of doughnuts sold comes back to the Army to help provide the financial ammunition needed in the battle against homelessness, hopelessness and hunger. Lt. Colonel Terry Griffin, Northwest divisional commander said, “The Army needed to look at new and innovative ways to fundraise and create visibility, while still staying true to our roots—the Salvation Army Famous Doughnut is exactly that.”

…only in the USA!

Andrew

Heart is Beating…

I’m back from holiday and I’m excited. Enrolling a fiery young salvationist tomorrow. Not every officer gets the opportunity to enrol these, but we all have an opportunity to fuel any young persons fire for Jesus. She’s passionate and spirit-filled. I sense a strong prophetic gifting and I know that God is going to use her, but her strength will be in her covenant.

My heart is beating because as we explored the articles of war with her I hear my destiny, my reason for existing, my calling, my clarion call calling out again.

My covenant, the promises I’ve made to God. The extent to which I keep my covenant is the extent to which God entrusts his Kingdom resources and power to me. Break covenant, and they might as well carry me out the door like Anias and Saphira or cut my hair like Samson.

God is calling to covenant because he is looking for a people who will show the world what it means to be holy, passionate and all for the glory of God.

Get your articles of war out the filing cabinet, stick em on the wall and dare, DARE, to live your life like that…go on…I dare you.

You can take the man out of Scotland…

Well, holiday was good. I feel refreshed. Got my fix, so to speak.

Visited half the population of the west coast…drank too much (tea).

Enjoyed every minute of the real weather. I miss real rain and real cold winds!

I’m on missionary service and I’m glad about that. God gives us a home in several places. An officer friend who serves in Scotland, but whose parents attend out corps said the very same thing to me today. She said “its good to be home, but its great to go home.” Too right. God is good.

The issue is identity and that is a challenge. How much do we take our identity from where we are from instead of who we are in Jesus? I figured a long time ago that God would let me love Scotland too. But really, every place is simply temporary.

I am reminded of that everytime I am on a motorway. Life seems to be on a balance…accidents happen at the blink of an eye.

That old gospel song…I sing it (privately!) often:

“One glad morning when this life is o’er
I’ll fly away.
I’ll meet God on that celestial shore.
I’ll fly away.

I’ll fly away, oh glory, I’ll fly away.
When I die, hallelujah, by and by, I’ll fly away”

An invitation….in the form of another song…”Come fly with me, lets fly, lets fly away…!”

Captain needza holiday…

I’ve had a really great last couple of days.

Celebrated a good Christian life well lived at a funeral in Kettering last Friday. I love Army funerals…strange thing really, but it brings it all home to me.

Then, there was the Burns Supper and Ceilidh at the corps. Really enjoyed that…got me in the mood for going to Scotland on Friday.

Sunday, had a really good block of worship time on Sunday night. I find it so helpful…things is…I am too busy enjoying it to notice if the rest of the corps are joining in!!!

Monday, what on earth happened to Monday?

Today, we led assembly at the local primary school. It was fantastic to see those 60 kids light up when we taugh the, “Our God is a Great big God”…even the teachers were affected…people were still singing it when we left. Great to hear Godz music floating around these places.

Tonight, we had another fab monthly corporate prayer meeting…these have been special. We are still struggling to get more than ten at any given time…but…I live in faith.

Right now I am tired…I know…its late….u can tell by the time stamp at the bottom of the message…but I gotta declare that I need a holiday!

I am homesick too…not really for people, but the place. I miss Scotland…I miss not being able to talk normally and people understanding you. I miss familiar beautiful places that I haven’t managed to replace south of the border. Places that are special to me because of times spent there. I confess that, actually, I ache for home. I confess that its tempting not to come back…not because I am not enjoying it, far from it…but every now and then you realise you’re out of your comfort zone and its hard. Thats what I signed up for.

The biggest battle in officership is when people take lightly the things you have handed over your life for. The advance of the gospel, discipleship, all the rest of it. I guess I might never understand why people can have casual faith like it is some sort of sleazy affair.

Anyway, we’re staying at Balvonie..lovely views of the forth of Clyde from there…I’ll enjoy that. I’ll see the familiar places and that will cheer me on. Thank God for a place to call home.

yours, almost tempted to retreat,

Andrew

Shouting

Samuel Brengle wrote a chapter in one of his books (sorry, can’t remember which one) about the spiritual benefits of shouting. Ever tried it? I find that it usually means shouting praise of some sort, not just shouting any old thing!!

I do it in the car. Tracy often comes into the car and wonders why the radio is turned up so loud…shouting some good old praise music out.

I also do it during meetings…now, I can sing fairly pleasantly and in tune, but there are some songs where you just have to sing as loud and as enthusiasticlly as you can!..even if it is out of tune.

God continually challenges me about my reservedness at times…that might surprise at least some blog readers that know me.

Easter 2003 – God spoke to me directly the challenge: “soldier, will you be undignified and realease your praise?” Undignified worship…its messy…almost like breaking open an alabaster jar full of perfume in a small room.

Shout it.

Andrew