Forestdale Corps

Just wanted to plug Forestdale Corps website. http://www.forestdale.org.uk/ Worth a visit.

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Primitive Salvationism

Our DYO, Captain Martin Thompson has been sieving down Army DNA…he’s trying to root emergent church on something solid. Perhaps he’s reinventing the wheel….I’ve often told him that he is a closet Primitive Salvationionist but seems ruluctant to embrace his convictions ( :oD ). Anyway, he I share with you his comments on Army DNA…by the way, they are pure Primitive Salvationist. Although, he doesn’t mention Holy Spirit Terrorism as an integral part of Salvationism.

Martin says:

* Holiness – 1 Peter 1v15 – our roots are firmly in the holiness movement – we are a people called by God to be like God…think (if you’re Army!) of Brengle’s vast legacy! For me, discipleship, worship, fellowship and the whole concept of a sacrificial life (Romans 12v1) fits into this.
* Incarnational Ministry – John 1v1-14 – Taking Christ’s example, we set up our tents with our neighbours – think of Booth Tucker and the slum brigades – this is about being at one with our communities
* Mission focused – Matthew 28v18-20, John 3v16+17 – a massive passion for the lost, and seeing the world won for Christ – Booth’s words “Go for souls, and go for the worst!”. But not forgetting the concept of grace – God longs for creation to become one with him once again…and we are part of the plan to do this…
* Whole gospel believers – Mark 16v16, John 14v6 – whosoever will may be saved, but there are consequences for those who turn their back on God…we can’t ignore that. However, again, grace gets in again – we don’t do everything simply to fill our pews, but to show the world that there is a greater hope
* Social Justice – Micah 6v8, Amos 5v21-24 – “while women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight” – need I say more – this is core to who we are and how we engage in ministry (as Tim says, we can’t divorce social from corps)
* Adaptive – Romans 9v22 – this is in terms of methodology, not in terms of tehology! Music, uniform – all negotiables as we seek the best method to tell the world about Christ
* Covenental – 1 Peter 2v9-10, Romans 12v1 – whether we are officers or soldiers we are in covenant with God, a chosen people, a royal priesthood – ties in the ideas of “joyful abandon” and sacrificial living once again”
* Prophetic – Isaiah 61v1-11 – God called the Army into being to remind the churches of the need to reach out to the lost, especially those on the fringes of society, and to give a voice to the voiceless – we have a commission to fight to change society as well as getting ourselves into better relationship with God (no split between secular and sacred, Gordon!) – think “Darkest England” – a vision for the transformation of the whole of society…wow!

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OK…so not pure Primitive Salvationist, but almost there…keep going brother…you’ll come out the closet eventually. :o)

Holy Discontented

So I’m just back from my ‘Into Officership’ Seminar…a thing us newbies have to go to for the first 5 years of our ministry. It was a thoroughly excellent time away. Wasn’t too enamoured about going at first…we have had a weeks holiday AND a divisional retreat in the first part of this year and I really wanted to be at home, but as always God has something to give us.

There were so many good things about the weekend…Commissioner Norman Howe spoke very excellently about biblical Holiness in today’s church…a bundle of stuff to take in and work through. His son Phil is our predecessor at Pill and he has some links with out corps because of that…was nice to experience the commissioner first hand.

Anyway, as if I really needed it, the highlight of the week was the encouragement to be captured, consumend, moved and motivated with the passion of our heart…that thing that gets us passionate and to which we know God has called us.

I testified, probably unclearly to those listening, that I often feel like I have Elijah syndrome. I am a bundle of passions, holy discontentment and always calling down the fire. Yet the next day I can be a complex bundle of depression and self doubt.

I have a fair bit of doubt right now…I guess I’m losing faith that our corps review will cut the necessary mustard, fearful that we won’t be willing to count the real cost of moving on for greater kingdom effectiveness. Fearful that I’ll have failed in my leadership task to effectively move this mission on.

Its also a fear of man problem. I know that some of the stuff we are working through right now doesn’t have easy answers and will not be easy to establish and secure.

But what do I do? I passionately believe in the purpose of our corps in its context of being the Salvation Army God called us to be. Every closed corps, every de-motivated officer, every half-hearted soldier and every lost hurting community fans the flame of my passion for my calling to be a promoter and agent of spiritual renewal (both for the first time and again if we’ve lost it!!).

I passionately believe there is more of the Spirit to be revealed amongst us at Pill and that we have to continually move back barriers to his presence being manifest.

I am consumed with the plight of the lost. As we were encouraged to focus on our holy discontent…my mind flashed straight to Dreghorn Crematorium as I burried my aunt last year…about £500 unsaved persons greiving a 39 year old cancer victim. That breaks my heart and to be honest, everything else pales in significance when you remember these things.

As if I really needed it?!? Yes, I did. I mustn’t lose my bottle. Oh God will you help me. This keeps me up at night. God’s heart breaks for these things…my heart must beat with the same things his does.

Like Elijah I sit under my tree…I know that the rains of refreshing are out there, but I’m also aware of the things that war against me…will I be consumed with hope or with despair? What will the still voice of God whisper? I think I know.

Signs and Wonders – Booth

(From Cory Harrison over at Primitive Salvationism..great read!)
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God is working on behalf of those who believe in His name. How is he at work? He sends supernatural signs and wonders.

Scriptural: Mark 16:19-20, “After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by signs that accompanied it.”

God is in the business of working on behalf of you and I that believe in his name. We DO HAVE the ability to dictate to God how he can validate our words. He is not, minus some exceptions, forcing his signs on us. What he does do, is give us in his own words, the most effective way of ministry. And that is through signs, wonders, and miracles. It is how he conducted ministry and it is how he expects you to conduct ministry. It is power evangelism that the early Salvationist walked in.

So here is what God, working on your behalf, looks like. Mark 16:17-18, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

So much is in this verse…let’s break it down:

And these signs will accompany those who believe… The word for will accompany in Greek is ‘parakoloutheo’ it means to be always at his side, to attend one wherever he goes, and a standard or rule. So, this is it. These signs will accompany you. Stop complaining that you are too uncomfortable with them and embrace Holy Spirit who gives these gifts.

What signs? Jesus tells us.

Casting out demons: It is Salvational by Catherine Booth saying, “Give me someone able to cast out demons and I don’t care if they can read or write, or put a grammatical sentence together!”

Speaking in tongues and healing the sick by laying on of hands: They are Salvationial based on the following from the March 14, 1885 edition of the War Cry:

My Dear Comrades:

A good deal of attention is being given just now to what are known as the extraordinary gifts of the spirit; that is, the ability to do something which is beyond the power of man to do without the direct operation of God. Such gifts as these were, without doubt, possessed by the Apostles both before and after the death of our Lord. They had the gift of tongues; that is, they received suddenly the power to speak languages which they had never learned. They had the gift of healing; that is, they cured the sick, opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ordinary means. They wrought miracles; they caused to happen that were contrary to the usual course of nature. These were very remarkable gifts, proving that God was with them, because no man could do these things unless God was operating directly through him. These gifts were useful, inasmuch as they called attention to those who possessed them, declared that the mission of these Officers was Divine, and justified men everywhere in believing what they had to say. For this reason they were important to the world, and their possession today might be a great blessing to mankind. There is not a word in the Bible which proves that we might not have them at the present time…No man, therefore, can be condemned for desiring them…

My comrades, let us covet, let us seek earnestly –nay, let us never rest until we possess, in all its fullness this celestial passion.

Believe me, yours full of expectation for greater things, William Booth.”

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Glory Hallelujah…more Lord, more Lord!
under the flag

Andrew

Beyond the Brook

Andrew Bale has started blogging….I suggest you visit him at Beyond the Brook. Andrew is a primitive Salvationist based in the suburbs of London with his wife, Captain Tracey Bale. He has a hot pen and a hot heart for holiness and all other things primitive Salvationist.

If my hearing serves me right you can hear him shouting ‘Blood and Fire’ on the Roots Conference CD produced a few years ago after the rousing rendition of ‘Who is on the Lord’s Side’…nice one. Check out his blog, you’ll be glad you did.

in faith,

Andrew

Salvo Books

So, the Clark household is saving up for a VW camper so that we can go on hols without taking out a morgage on the house we don’t own! I’m selling a few of my Christian books at http://salvobooks.blogspot.com I’m also selling several Army books on Ebay…type in Salvation Army into Ebay’s search page and you’ll find them quick enough.

I also have a Sony 8mm Camcorder and a Hewlett Packard HP1094 Handheld PC to sell on ebay when I can be bothered to put them online! I have a next to new Raleigh Bicycle to get rid of too! A couple of simple printers, a primitive scanner…u name it I’ve got it!

Although we’re saving for something, there is something thoroughly satisfying about getting rid of stuff! I’ve long had a yearning for simplicity but always been too surrounded by the stuff you gather to actually do acheive some level of it! I can thoroughly reccommend this process!

Take a squizz at salvobooks.blogspot.com and see if you can pick yourself up a bargain! Cheaper than Amazon. :o)

Whose Job is it?

Once upon a time there were four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Barbados

I’ve noted from my blog stats that we’ve been having some visitors from Barbados. I get visitors from all sorts of places, but of course I recognise that Barbados is in teh Carribean…the current location of our new Territorial Commander for the UK, Commissioners Matear.

Why not leave us a message and say hello?

Corps Review Report

Corps Reviews are fun. Really..they are. They are most helpful for ministry and for helping people reflect on what we do and what we are.

We are taking a bit of a leaf out if the Australian Eastern Territory’s book and measuring ourselves against General Gowans little purpose statement ‘Saving Souls, Growing Saints, Serving Suffering Humanity’, thoroughly assessing our current practice by scripture and using Gowan’s phrase for guidance and vision.

Today we looked at being the big picture of what God calls us to be, generally, as his Salvation Army. We spent time searching scripture and fleshing out who we are called to be. I commented recenly over at Urban Army that I’m sceptical about gimmicks when it comes to ‘measuring’ a corps’ success when really the only rod should be scripture and who God calls us to be.

We have an excellent corps at Pill, not without our challenges, but thoroughly excelllent when compared to some other situations I know well. We truly are on the brink of acheiving something and really understanding God’s heart for us.

The last few months have been difficult for our folks…they don’t always understand where we are coming from and because of that I think they think we’re out to wreck their corps. In a sense we are, but on the contrary we are totally not. We’ve had to risk being unpopular at times (sometimes intentionally, sometimes by virtue of the fact that I can be obnoxious and difficult…but I am Scottish).

There are other situations where we would not have been able to push so hard. But its so important we align ourselves with God’s will for the corps and The Salvation Army.

On of the people sharing with us today was upset at a Booth quote (not upset in the offended way, but in the ‘made me think’ way. Booth said:

“I do not want another ecclesiastical corps cumbering the earth. When The Salvation Army ceases to be a militant body of red hot men and women whose supreme business is the saving of souls, I hope it will vanish utterly.”

I feel very much like that. Jesus didn’t speak highly of lukewarmness in Revelation 3:16 (or thereabouts).

So, I am fully aware that I am a big pill to swallow (in more ways than one) but God forbid that I should fail to lead the corps into greater purposes for the sake of being Captain Popular. It comes down to trust in my motives. Many suspect them, and rightly so because I’d be troubled if people just accepted the words I whisper in their ears.

A big hat tip to the other brave leaders in our corps…for being willing to dare. For being open to God and his promting, for asking the big questions alongside us and for simply being leaders for such a time as this.

You know, it may not be too long before our term at Pill is ‘history’ (if the last nearly two years are anything to go by!) and each persons perspective of history will judge us differently…by my concern is to make sure that its Gods will that counts.

We’re priming ourselves up to Save Souls, Grow Saints and Serve our Suffering Humanity. You’re prayers appreciated as always.

yours, under the flag,

Andrew