Salvationist Squirrels

A few months back someone prophesied that I was having squirrel ministry at the moment. By that he meant that I was like a squirrel getting ready for a winter, packing away food in the store so as to be equipped for the season to come. Interestingly, someone prophesied a few years back something to do with winter, but it never really made sense to me until now. The perceived meaning of this ‘picture’ was that the stuff we are sowing into our soldiers will become very useful all of a sudden.

That, combined with another prophesy over me, which was just one word, ‘vindication’, have been reassuring to me. They give me confidence and a reminder that God indeed is working in me right now. Sometimes we all need that.

I haven’t been well the last couple of days, just a cold, but its sorta floored me (as they usually do…you know, man-colds!). I’ve been reading Finney’s book on revival…that pertinant chapter which really awakened my spirit a few years ago about breaking up the fallow, unfurrowed ground of your heart. Its sterling stuff, I reccomend it.

I started reading it because I’ve taken myself aback the last few Sundays, because I stand up to preach what I’ve prepared and suddenly the Holy Spirit gives me something else and I end up preaching off the top of my head and last Sunday evening I challenged myself!

I simply gave out the challenge that authentic Christian community should be a place where we can be real with each other, being who we are and not having to put on something else. So, I read Finney again, because when I read it the first time, it set me on fire.

Its so easy to let your fire burn low. And, although I’m not running anywhere near empty these days, I’m not as I was. I think there are reasons for this, some obvious, some not obvious to me. However, there is nothing that humility, consecration and more of the Spirit can’t handle.

So, I suppose I thank the Lord that this has been a period of storing up…for me, my people perhaps, but thank Him to that he is calling me to start out.

I will be doing another weird Andrew thing next week…I am going to the Isle of Lewis, on the very north west of Scotland. We are going on a family trip, but I’m going here because the Lord has told me to go. Its an obedience thing. I stopped questioning the Lord on these things a long time ago.

He showed me a vision. I was standing outside a church, a pretty typical church, it was an evening, and there was a slight hill down to the village. Jesus was standing at the bottom beckoning me into the village where there were people kneeling, praying and sobbing. Its a picture that came to me whilst I was reading a book on the Lewis revival of the 1950s. I don’t know what God is going to do there, but I’m looking forward to whatever he has for me.

I believe all these things are linked, it all makes sense in a bizarre, God kind of way. I simply wait and follow in obedience. Anyway, we’d appreciate your prayer whilst we are away (we leave Thursday)…that God would give us what we need as we go there. I’m sure I’ll blog again before then…I think…

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Corps Sergeant-Major

Hat tip to Stephen Court for the following:

CSM is an important local officer position. We have two people filling it in our corps.

CSM Phil Wall (an LO at a corps in UK) was heard recently to say, on accountability, “If you don’t master yourself, your self will master you.”

On the same subject, the quotable CSM continued, “leadership is lonely. Isolation is a choice.”

He quoted John Cassian that, “We worship a God who is always lapping at the shores of our lives.”

And, finally, CSM Phil Wall said, “If all the leaders of The Salvation Army determined to invest 25% more time in making friends with people who don’t know Jesus it would transform The Army in six months.”

Thank the Lord for CSMs (and Assistants ;o) )

Andrew

Wards

We are in the thrust of beginning to flesh out our corps review from earlier this year. After the typical ‘lazy’ (yet crazy) summer in this part of the world, we’re back in action thick and fast.

Main thing is our Ward System is due to start running in November. This is really exciting. We have 6 wards altogether consisting of between 8 and 15 people. Not all of those number will attend (some are elderly, some can’t be bothered, some are sick)but we’re on our way to acheiving a good number attending and getting involved in pioneering a new way of being a Salvation Army Corps.

It will be a difficult transition for some people, especially for a corps that has been so ‘Sunday focussed’ for such a long time. We’re looking forward to the great potential for deeper discipleship and pastoring…looking forward to the release and use of spiritual gifts in that setting, we’re looking forward to increased fire in winning the lost, increased effert in evangelism. We’re looking forward to the raised temperature and volume of prayer.

Each ward will meet at least fortnightly, (weekly if they are extra keen!) and will follow the pattern of Welcome (sharing life stories from the week, prayer requests etc, Worship (like it says on the tin), Word (time around scripture, initially using Freedom in Christ Discipleship material), and then Witness (where people are held accountable for their witnessing relationships and where the ward discuss and plan their brigade activity) and Intercession (prayer time).

Each ward will have its brigade activity…that is, they will seek to work together as a group on a particular outreach activity as defined by the group. We will, in time, be looking to appoint Ward Brigadiers to co-ordinate these outreach ativities.

Each group will also have a geographical area assigned to them which they will prayer walk and that they will go door to door with prayer cards, asking residents for prayer requests to be taken and used in the context of the ward meeting prayer section.

What is this about? Its about mobilising for mission, its about being serious abotu discipleship and pastoral care, desperate for holiness, and simply taking seriously our calling as soldiers.

Please pray for us.