Yesterday’s War

Monday should be my day off really. I am always really drained on a Monday, especially more so depending on what Sunday has been like. But we try to corner off Saturday so we have a day altogether as a family.

Yesterday the battle was intesting. Tracy preached in the morning. As I often do, I don’t prepare a Sunday evening until Sunday afternoon. The main reason for this is that our evening meetings constitue a higher proportion of worship and prayer than message, so the message isn’t the main part…plus, the Lord is usually spot on with providing the word for the Sunday evening.

So, on the way home in the car the Lord confirms his plans for the evening meeting. I say ‘yes Lord.’ Then Tracy says ‘I have migraine coming on.’ I say to myself, ‘interesting.’ Needless to say Tracy’s migraine progresses quite badly to the point of being sick. I send her to bed and begin to prepare the message on….’taking back ground from the enemy!’

By this point I’m aware that my wife is sick because of my sermon topic. The Lord leads me to leave Tracy to work it out on her own. I go to the meeting, explain Tracy is sick and that isn’t a surprise because I’m preaching about the schemes of the enemy and announce that we’ll be engaging in some corporate repentance.

Meanwhile, Tracy is back home and the Lord reveals to her the source of her migraine as she is reading my message on the computer. He instructs her to raise her hand and the migraine dissappears.

Back at the hall, after the good and significant meeting, someone asks me to tell Tracy she hopes she will be better soon. I say to them: Tracy will be fine now…the meeting is over and the Lord will have taken the migraine away.

I get home, the migraine has gone, Tracy is now more advanced in the school of warfare, the corps have released some heavy duty sin to the blood of Jesus and rejoicing in a few more degrees of freedom today, and the enemy is pushed back a little further.

Thats the news from this front today. This evening is corps council – hallelujah!


Saw this and loved it! Every ‘Back to Jerusalem’ (the organisation for which Brother Yun works) missionary receives training in several main subjects.

These include:
1.) How to suffer and die for the Lord. We examine what the Bible says about suffering, and look at how the Lord’s people have laid down their lives for the advance of the Gospel throughout history.

2.) How to witness for the Lord. We teach how to witness for the Lord under any circumstance, on trains or buses, or even in the back of a police van on our way to the execution ground.

3.) How to escape for the Lord. We know that sometimes it is the Lord who sends us to prison to witness for Him, but we also believe the devil sometimes wants us to go to prison to stop the ministry God has called us to do. We teach the missionaries special skills such as how to free themselves from handcuffs, and how to jump from second-storey windows without injuring themselves.

When I was at training college I was taught how to plan and lead a Home League meeting, understand corps books (well, they failed in that), pick a tune to go with a song from the songbook, how to arrange a music festival and transfer a soldier from one corps to the other.

I suppose there would have been days when those would have been necessary elements of training for Salvation Army officers. Not any more, certainly not in the UK. However, there will be a day when the true nerve of the wishy-washy 21st century Christian will be tested. I doubt that there will be many who will stand.

On that second point, I’d say I’ve had a jolly fair go at trying to train my soldiers in this. Admittedly, we haven’t got to the session on ‘witnessing on the way to your execution. Thankfully, a few have picked up the baton…but I do mean a ‘few.’ Well, one in particular is more active than others in sharing the gospel.

In the world today, we have brothers and sisters who are murdered for their faith. This is a living reality of the cost of being Christian for so many of our comrades, Salvationists included. It is yet another blow to our comfortable and shameful approach to mission and evangelism here in the West. Certainly, our Christian Unions in Universities may be receiving a bit of prejudice or religious boggotry, but there are no evangelicals swinging from the university gates.

This isn’t about ‘O Lord, send us some persecution.’ This is about. ‘O Lord, move us and inspire us to make the most of our opportunites whilst we have this glorious freedom.’

Forbid that we will sit on our backsides any longer.

Glimmers of hope

I wish Brengle was wrong. (No, not my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Brengle, I’m on about Commissioner Samual L Brengle). When I look at that quotation it makes me want to weep because I see it. Although there are always glorious exceptions to the staus quo, Brengle’s words are living themselves out today. I’d challenge anyone to write a post about how this isn’t true…I’d dearly love to be writing it myself!

However, I’ve seen this week some beautiful glimmers of hope. I’ve been visiting our wards. Wards are like cells of a cell church, in case you didn’t know.

I’ve been struck by several things:
– competent local leadership..some of whom are new or only recenly re-acquianted with leadership in the church
– spirit-filled worship
– beginnings of true honesty in spiritual things
– deeper fellowship starting to emerge
– nearly 30 people regularly turning up for bible study, prayer, fellowship…something never before known in this corps
– ministry by all members
– the beginnings of missional thinking as wards explore outreach brigades
– young people casting out demons and praying for healing
– people becoming aware of the reality of corps life that they were unaware of before
– people being able to voice their very first ‘public’ prayers in the context of a small group
– being personally ministered to by my own people.
– a particular young person taking so much initiative in one area it blew my mind

If I thought hard enough, there may well be more. If you asked our corps people, you may find more. And this is all happening in the midst of what has been a difficult time of late. This is happening as we’re saying goodbye to things like songster brigades and all the fallout of that. This is happening as we, personally, are gaining strength after being ‘taken out’ by enemy and suposedly ‘friendly’ fire.

We give God the glory. But we do ask for an increase in love…not just blaise love, or tokenism love, false love, or love-because-we-must-love, but deep and authentic love.

But what about that telling phrase he uses at the end:

We shall still recruit our ranks and supply our Training Garrisons with Cadets from among our own Young People, but we shall cease to be saviors of the lost sheep that have no shepherd.”

How true it is that we must increase our effort in saving lost sheep. How important it is that we manage to raise up some officers who don’t come from the ranks. How important it is we raise up officers from within the ranks! I praise God for a few hopefuls in our corps in this area. How important it is that we recruit warriors and don’t ust make members.

Lord, do not cast us from your presence or take your spirit from us. Restore to us the joy of our salvation and then we will teach sinners in your ways.

(Psalm 51 in the bible according to my memory).

What we must do with these prophetic words of warning is to pray the opposite in. We must ensure that we always labour against being what we have become. We don’t see the words as doom, but see them as hope from God who was able to see the potential danger. We take them to heart, accept them, repent and begin living in the opposite spirit to that which prevails amongst us. Lord help us!

Amen! Blood and Fire!


Bit of Brengle

“We must still prove our discipleship by our love one for the other. It is not enough to wear the uniform, to profess loyalty to Army leaders and principles, to give our goods to feed the poor and our bodies to be burned. We must love one another. We must make this the badge of our discipleship. We must wrestle and pray and hold fast that we do not lose this.

The Army is so thoroughly organized and disciplined, so wrought into the life of nations, so fortified with valuable properties, and on such a sound financial basis, that it is not likely to perish as an organization, but it will become a spiritually dead thing if love leaks out. Love is the life of The Army. ‘If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His love is perfected in us.’ But if love leaks out we shall lose our crown, we shall have a name to live and yet be dead. We may still house the homeless, dole out food to the hungry, punctiliously perform our routine work, but the mighty ministry of the Spirit will no longer be our glory.

Our musicians will play meticulously, our Songsters will revel in the artistry of song that tickles the ear, but leaves the heart cold and hard. Our Officers will make broad their phylacteries and hob-nob with mayors and councilmen and be greeted in the market-place, but God will not be among us. We shall still recruit our ranks and supply our Training Garrisons with Cadets from among our own Young People, but we shall cease to be saviors of the lost sheep that have no shepherd.”

Sharing Bread

A few months ago we received a memo from the Cheif Secretary (might have been Lieutenant-Colonel Bill Cochrane) explaining the ‘activity’ of a certain Peter Footer. Peter Footer, a Salvationist, is valiantly (in my opinion) taking Bibles into China. I’ve recenlty come across his blog. Here is an excerpt:

“During my 12 months here I have been able to provide (extremely roughly) 18,000 pastors with a study bible this means that 18,000 church’s have been blessed this past year as a direct result of your prayer’s, thank you. Having never seen the pastors who receive these books I can only share with you the joy that I have heard “illegal” Christians have when they finally receive the book created by the God that they serve.

Thank you for your support in this ministry, it has been an amazing year and a great experience. I pray that you will all find time during the rush of this season to remember the birth of Jesus and more importantly the sacrifice of the very same child so that we may be free and that you would find the time to share this with some one who does not yet know it. “

Now, when I think of his story I think of Brother Andrew…you know, the Dutch fella who became famous for the same kinda work. So, blow me down with a feather when the Cheif Secretary is forbidding us from supporting Peter because what he is doing might affect the work in China. Hmm. Seems to me that Peter is doing the work in China that perhaps we should be doing.

I suppose I can see the point, but I think the more telling truth is that the Army are over cautious. Breaking into any country hostile to Christianity is a threat. What about the Salvationists of North Korea who have been continuing to meet in secret since they were banned? What about Brigadier Korbel OF who continued to serve in his POW camp although he wasn’t supposed to? There are countless other examples…all risky and costly stuff. So, why pick on poor Peter?

Thing is, there is an underground church in China in need of desperate help. Now, if the Army are in there, I do hope that we are helping out against the law. Why? because God’s laws are higher than mans and there are brothers and sisters in need of encouragement, resource and prayer. Even if the 18,000 pastors only have 5 people in their church….I’ll leave you to do the maths!

God bless Peter Footer.

Some bits…

So, I mentioned that I discovered an old copy of my testimony that I used to carry round in leaflet from from years back. Decided to do it again…the new version looks pretty good (if I say so myself)! You don’t always have the opportunity to share much with a lot of people you meet…a simple testimony is a good thing to leave behind.
Also, great to report that the downloads of the podcasts are going steady and now registered on itunes. Just search itunes podcasts for ‘The Salvation Army’ and it’ll come up.
You may read blog, but just to point out that there are a couple of good books due to be published by Credo Press (I presume) .

The first, by Olivia Munn (see link to her blog at the right hand side) and Captain Stephen Court entitled ‘The Uprising’ At last, here is a holiness book aimed at teenagers and young people…so needed, certainly in this Territory.

The second is ‘Articles of War’ by General William Booth (his first book this millenium!) and Captain Stephen Court. Its half update of an old book by Booth on the doctrines, and the second half is some words of challenge on the second half of the articles of war. A valuable tool both for soldiership classes and for blowing the cobwebbs of our own covenant keeping.

Keep a look on for the news, but I’ll post it here too when they are out.

Tracy and I were getting set to go to the Booth-Tucker Institue in Canada this summer. Its a week long residential training in inner city incarnational ministry (with the limits being that its only a week, but the nature of the stuff they do at 614 Vancouver is incarnational….so its a chance to get involved with that first hand.) Unfortunately, my sister decided to move her wedding, so we’re not going to be able to go. Have you given it a thought? I’m sure it would be worth the journey. We’ll hopfully be setting off next year, God willing. Check out the details at The War College website.


so yeah…thats all folks!


Salvationism Out Loud!

Here be the cover of the wee book. The sales will go to my corps to support the war here. Of course, as an officer I’ve covenanted to dedicate all money from self-written publications, writing and music to the Lord through the Army…and that I’ll dutifully do!

At worst, its a collection of random thoughts relating to salvationism (of the primitive variety), at its best its my brain grappling with what it means to flesh that out in reality. Its thoughts of an officer in the making, and officer with a passion for ministry who just wishes he could get his brain, thoughts and actions working at the same pace!

More than all that, its dedicated to the soldiers of Pill Corps for being willing to take the journey with us, and who still show willing to take the journey.

I love writing. I always have, although I’m not always great at it. But, I figure that if God has stuck a passion for it in there somewhere, he wants me to use it. So, I offer this little volume in that spirit.

Keep watching for details of ordering! I’m estimating the price to be around £6, although you will be able to download it electronically for about half the price! Details to follow!

Pill Corps Podcasts!

You can hear the weekly preaching from Pill Corps over at Council of War website in the form of Podcasts. Today was our Commitment Sunday, and you can hear both messages from today.

You can also subscribe to the Podcasts by visiting THIS link. Eventually you will be able to subscribe vie iTunes!

Can’t believe I’ve been technical enough to finally do it, but big thanks to Captain Hinton! Also, I can’t believe how Scottish I still sound because I think my accent has calmed down quite a bit, but maybe not!