Daily devotions



Terry Camsey writes on Rubicon:
"When it came out, the Crest Book “Come Join Our Army’ by R.G. Moyles led me to contact the author. I was privileged later to enjoy some insightful conversations with him over the internet. In that book he points out that, towards the end of the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, Salvationists were becoming aware that the Army, as they had known it, was beginning to change. They were “now being asked to become as actively involved in charitable work as previously they were in red-hot revivalism.” And they were being popularized for that. Dr. Moyles suggests that they then became “less frequently hailed as soul-saving revivalists and more often as social reformers known less for their aggressive evangelism than for their good deeds.”

Salvation Army Flag Flies in United Arab Emirates

From the Salvation Army international web-page:
"GENERAL Shaw Clifton has given approval for the work of The Salvation Army to be officially commenced in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as of 1 June 2010. This will bring the number of countries where the Army operates to 121.

It is less than two years since The Salvation Army’s work started officially in neighbouring Kuwait, under the leadership of Majors Mike and Teresa Hawley, officers of the USA Southern Territory. It was known, however, that there has been a long-standing fellowship of Salvationists from a number of countries resident and working in Dubai, in the UAE.

Majors Hawley were joined in 2009 by Lieutenants Robert and Glenis Viera, also from the USA Southern Territory, and the work continued to develop in Kuwait. In the same year, exploration started with regard to the possibility of extending the Army’s ministry into the UAE. An invitation was extended for the Army to plan a Christmas carol service in Dubai and this was attended by hundreds of people. Meetings then commenced in rented property in Sharjah."


From FSAOF blog:
"Someone to see you" Our afternoon service was soon to start. I took a quick look before he saw me...he looked familiar. As I walked towards him I was sure I knew him "hello... how can we help?". The guy needed a food parcel "no problem... do I know you?"

He looked up "no... never been in here before".I persisted "are you sure - you look familiar..." He smiled - "well they say I look like my father".

"And do I know your father...?"

He smiled again, this time revealing a stumpy nicotine stained set of teeth "oh yes you know him!"... "I know your Father...?" I was getting perplexed. I shook my head "I'm sorry but I'm not sure I do."

He was clearly enjoying this."Oh yes you do...!" he rolled his eyes upwards and gave me a knowing wink. Suddenly he dropped his voice "I've been before...this is my second time around" Clearly frustrated with my ignorance he grabbed my arm and while nodding to underline and affirm his words he moved too close and whispered "I... I am the..... Christ Child"

All I could muster was "Wow... well ... um" . "Don't worry I get that all the time..." I go and return with the food parcel. I'm not sure whether this was right or wrong of me but I had a burning question. "Tell me... how's your cousin doing...?" He looks up from checking the food "which one...?" ..."you know" I persist "the famous one?"

"the famous one....?" It was his turn to be confused. "yeah the famous one... you know famous for losing his head...!?"

Scratching his chin, he looked at me while searching his memory. Silence...then..."You mean Steven Davison..?" he said hopefully.

"Actually no... I mean John"

"John?... John who?"

Our eyes meet and now I move into his space and drop my voice "You know... John the Baptist?" The penny dropped - "oh him..."
"no... he's not around at the moment...?!!"

"No", I reply "but I know where he is ....he goes to my mates Salvation Army in Harlesden...!" [Good friend and collegue Ian has some great reflections on his John the Baptist]
We chat a bit more before we shake hands and he leaves.

Later within our afternoon service my mind wanders I smell my hand. Sitting there suddenly I am aware of Paul's nicotine, alcohol, dirt encrusted smell. I smile as I think of Paul Davison (AKA Jesus - the Christ Child). My eyes closed the smell evokes his stumpy nicotine smile... and some words ...

"I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me--you did it to me.' Matthew 25: 40 MSG

How many times do I fail to see Jesus in others?

Gordon Cotterill
Active UKT


Leadership in the Army is no longer one-size-fits-al

From the Former Salvationist Officer Fellowship website (FSAOF):

Leadership in the Army is no longer one-size-fits-all. If we truly accept the “priesthood of all believers,” then we need opportunities for lay leaders to take a greater role.

It is entirely reasonable to expect that officership will be a lifelong commitment. After all, it’s not a calling to a particular service path or vocation, but rather a covenanted life—or, to use the language of the Church, a joining of holy orders. The question we should ask ourselves is whether or not officership is a prerequisite for spiritual leadership.
Given our belief in the “priesthood of all believers,” the response seems obvious to me. However, our tradition of reserving certain roles and functions for officers seems to call our belief into question.

Throughout Africa, the ever increasing number of converts and soldiers necessitates the appointing of lay leaders. Constraints faced by territories in the training of officers make it impossible to produce an officer for every ministry unit. These lay leaders are selected on the basis of their spiritual maturity, competency and potential for future development. While considered a local officer, these individuals do not fill the traditional local officer positions but rather take on the role and function of the officer appointed to lead a particular ministry unit. These lay leaders serve on officer terms, but only for a specific time of service.
This practice replicates the early methodology of John Wesley. Having formed a small group of believers who studied and prayed together, he would then appoint a leader to encourage and monitor the group. The leader would be provided with organizational instructions and a small library of books to encourage their development and capacity. Wesley never intended these leaders to be ordained or take on the vestments of clergy.

For the first time, the Canada and Bermuda Territory is faced with the reality of fewer active officers than there are retired officers. This means we may soon have more ministry units than officer personnel to serve them. Unless there is an increase in cadets entering the training college, the gap between the number of available officers and the number of ministry units requiring leadership will only grow.

It would seem that for many potential candidates, a lifelong commitment is not something they are prepared to make.
One solution might be to prioritize mission opportunities and then close ministry units that are only marginally productive but are high consumers of mission resources. Alternatively, a proactive recruitment of lay leaders for a contracted service period may attract willing hands to the task of discipleship and mission expansion. This approach has worked in Australia and Hong Kong. New corps and ministries have been built and, in time, handed over to officer personnel. Similarly, Africa heavily relies on its envoys (lay leaders) to minister to its many congregations. The contracts for these envoys are reviewed annually and are subject to divisional and territorial approval. This process provides great flexibility and control while encouraging performance reviews and evaluations to be based on mission achievement.

When it comes time to release these lay leaders from service many have asked: What is the advantage of appointing a commissioned officer rather than a lay leader?

The advantage of officer leadership over lay leadership lies not in the “priestly function and role” but rather in trained leadership ability. Let me give an example from the field of project development. When building a school, a leader oversees the overall project and its component parts. However, that leader will gladly welcome assistants who complete the various components, be it the foundation or roof. Similarly, in mission, where there is not long-term consistent leadership, the broader vision and individual objectives may be lost.

Lay leaders on contracted service would need to demonstrate capacity for their particular ministry appointment or take training which would equip them for the task. They should also be under the care and supervision of qualified, informed leaders who understand the mission objectives and can ensure that short-term mission leaders contribute to the whole.

Lay service contracts have existed for overseas appointments where need is recognized and local resources are lacking. Perhaps it is time we recognized the need in our own backyard and provided a means whereby willing hands may be encouraged to serve without requiring them to commit to a lifetime.

Major Ian Swan is the associate dean for extended learning at William and Catherine Booth College.


Christian preacher arrested for saying homosexuality is a sin

From Telgraph.co.uk:"Dale McAlpine was charged with causing “harassment, alarm or distress” after a homosexual police community support officer (PCSO) overheard him reciting a number of “sins” referred to in the Bible, including blasphemy, drunkenness and same sex relationships.
The 42-year-old Baptist, who has preached Christianity in Wokington, Cumbria for years, said he did not mention homosexuality while delivering a sermon from the top of a stepladder, but admitted telling a passing shopper that he believed it went against the word of God."