Daily devotions


Headlines week 22

Shock: British Teens Have as Many as Seven Abortions

LifeNews - "New figures from the British government show hundreds of teenagers in the U.K. are having multiple taxpayer-funded abortions with three who had several government-funded abortions before their 20th birthday.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper obtained official NHS figures using a Freedom of Information Act request and determined that two teenage girls had their seventh abortion in 2010, the most recent year during which the government has figures. Another four teenage girls had six abortions paid for at taxpayer expense

 Hypnosis and Yoga Open Hidden Spiritual Doors

Dan Delzell in Christian Post - "Hypnosis and yoga are a couple of mystical practices which have basically gone mainstream in America today. Just because a spiritual practice goes mainstream, however, doesn't mean that it is safe and beneficial. Many spiritual teachings and practices are dangerous to the soul. This calls for daily discernment and constant vigilance on the part of every Christian."


Early Sunday morning in Borås, May 27

While updating our webpage I understand that I am in trouble using internet so much. One of the headlines in the biggest Swedish newspaper tells me that using e-mails can cause heart problems. Yesterday I travelled with the airline "Norwegian" which is the first European airline that provides free internet on board. And of course I checked my e-mail in the air. Before that I checked my e-mail while waiting to board the flight. Riga international airport provides free internet access. So according to the article I leve a high risk life. If one morning you find that this page is not up-dated, then you now why...

During this week we have had a full day visiting Skangal together with our Advisory Board. One of the board members is the Swedish Embassador. He brought his mother who happened to visit Riga that week. The embassador´s mother told us that she was partly brought up in the Salvation Army in the village of Orsa. Her mother was active in the corps and all children in the village went to the Salvation Army in the time between the two world wars. On top of that she told us that she had two aunts who were Salvation Army Officers. 
The manager of Skangal, Modris Jankovskis, informs about the work at Skangal: the Orphanage, the Crisis Center for women and the Conference Center.

During the week we have also had a Corps Review at the "Children´s House" in Sarkani together with the Officers leaving Sarkani, and the two cadets who will take over the responsibility as leaders in Sarkani, after their Commissioning in June.
Coming out from the Corps Review in Sarkani....
 .....and here are some children testing the new trampoline at Sarkani.

Just now we are making a short visit in Borås in the soutwestern part of Sweden. Our oldest grandson is having his Church Confirmation Celebration today. Some people have asked us "Do you have grandchildren that old?" - Yes we have and I start to understand that we are not so young ourselves any longer.

Tomorrow we return to Riga and a new working week.

I pray that it will be a blessed week for you.
Peter Baronowsky


Headlines week 21

I'll Fight Congress
- Salvation Army UK - "The 2012 Territorial Congress at the Royal Albert Hall marks the 100th anniversary of The Salvation Army's founder, William Booth, making his famous "I'll Fight" speech. The speech marked a significant step in shaping the future of The Salvation Army's mission to tackle social injustice."

Indonesia Believers Cry Out to God in Historic Rally
Charisma News - "Indonesia's largest sporting arena became one big giant prayer house Thursday. The event was televised across the world's most populous Muslim country.
Christians began praying the moment they entered the stadium.
"Prayer can change everything in this nation, and that's why I came tonight with my family, believing for God to do the impossible," one woman said

8 Things to Keep in Mind in Regards to Conflict at Work/Church

Perry Noble in Christian Post - "Number 1 – Email DOES NOT WORK! (This would also apply to texting as well as any form of social media!)
When conflict use to arise with me and someone in the office I used to walk to my desk, log on to my computer and fire off an abusive email, several problems with this…
- It is the act of a coward, I would do this so that I would avoid a eye to eye conversation.
- It removes the fact that I am actually dealing with another person…if I type an email I don't have to look them in the eye and removing that obstacle allows me to say things to them through typing that I would NEVER say to them in person.
- It often drags out the conflict way longer that it should be.
- It can easily be misinterpreted, thus causing new conflicts....


Early Sunday morning in Riga, May 20

Another week in Latvia. We start to see signs that summer is approaching.

Last Sunday, after the meeting and the "Open Microphone"-gathering at Riga 1 Corps, we drove up north on the coast of Riga Bay. We found a place to sit down and relax for a while. It was not warm, but it was beautiful watching the sun preparing to go down beyond the sea.
 In the beginnng of the week we had a visit from Norway. It was the staff group from the Salvation Army drug rehabilitation centers in western Norway. They are supporting a Life Skill Program at the corps in Liepaja. We had some great days together with the Norwegian group, informing them about Latvia and the Salvation Army work here. Here you can see the corps leader in Liepaja, Velta, reporting from the project:
During the visit from Norway we had also one evening with the corps leaders from Riga 2 Corps. They brought a couple of soldiers from the corps and gave us a great evening of music and testimonies. Here are the Corps Leaders, Irina and Andrejs:
Now it is Sunday morning again and time to go down to the meeting at Riga 1 Corps. After the service there will be another rehearsal with the people from the corps taking part in the Regional Congress Choir.

This is a special Sunday for the Salvation Army in Latvia. We are inviting to a Candidate Sunday in all Corps. It is a Sunday were we will focus on the calling to Officership in the Salvation Army. The Officers at the Training School, Isabel and Norm, have made a special resource package for this day, with information, sermon outline and prayer cards. The Bible verse on the prayer card is from Joh 4:35: "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest."

And then....another week. That week will start with a tour to Skangale and Sarkani together with our Advisory Board and the staff at the Swedish Embassy.

I pray that it will be a blessed week for you.
Peter Baronowsky


Prophesy - Part 2

One of the cadets sent this prophesy to us during a period of fasting. You can read part one here. (The picture is from Freefoto.com)

"I also see in my spirit a map of Latvia. I see God taking His children from different corners of Latvia, lighting their hearts, putting uniform on them and bringing them into the Army. I see how His lights are getting stronger, I see His children changing clothes. They are leaving their old ways of living. They are leaving all that is from a man and worldly and they put on the uniform. Uniform is important for them, because it is like a sign that they belong to Christ. They are separated from the world. A sign of Kingdom.

I see in the spirit how people how people, who have changed into uniform, respect it. They are not concerned about worldly things, they are ready to sacrifice all for Christ. The time of reward has come. I see the same map of Latvia and I see columns of people marching from one end of Latvia to the other. All people dressed in uniform. They are different than other people living on the earth and streams of grace are flowing from them. These columns of people are growing, the number of people is growing and they march on.

Latvia is like a tillage. The Army moves from one end of it to the other. Everyone is dressed in uniform and they hold a little flag in their hands. There is a one common flag or sign for all, and the little flags mean that everyone has their part in the bigger meaning/picture.

The Army is growing, it belongs to Christ. It is in His heart and He has planned special things for it. The time of reward has come. The Army is receiving what it has prayed for. It was tested, but it has withstood the test. It is the time of fruit and reward. Time of change. A new age for the whole Army."


Yesterday we started our thirty days of prayer for the Congress in Riga, June 15-17. Two days before that we received an e-mail from one of our cadets who had received these words from the Lord (Picture from Freefoto.com):

"I am fasting and today is the 14th day since I have not eaten. Today, when everyone was praying for The Salvation Army, I saw a vision in my spirit and received a Word from God, which I would like to share. 

I saw a flag of The Salvation Army and saw many people in uniforms around it. People were standing in a crowd and did not take up lots of space, people were not moving. I saw a field around these people. Fields were ripe for harvest, in fact, so ripe that the spikes of the wheat were heavily leaning towards the ground. It felt like you only had to stretch out your arm and the grain would fall into their hands. Salvationists, who were standing amidst these fields, did not understand that these fields were ripe, they looked, but did not react to what they saw around them. Salvationists were busy with different things- they sang, played, preached and talked at the table. 

Each of the Salvationists had a basket in hand, but they were empty and then the wind came up, the wind of the Holy Spirit and turned everything around. The views, convictions and understanding of the Salvationists were changed and they started distinguishing the important from secondary. And the Lord said: the time of empty baskets and reflections is over, a new time has come, new age, time of grace and harvest. The Lord says the time of harvest starts now. Time of full baskets, time of overflowing. And wherever you go, you will harvest and the Army will grow in size. The time of trials is over. A new time has come, a time of harvest and fruit. The Army will grow and now is a good time - time of harvest, of victory and multiplication. Praise to God!"


Headlines week 20

Obama Uses Scripture to Justify Same-Sex Marriage Stance
- Charisma News - "The dust has hardly settled on President Obama’s move to support same-sex marriage. Indeed, it’s an issue that’s likely to linger on through the 2012 presidential elections and beyond.
The Assemblies of God is voicing its dissent and objection. George O. Wood, AG general superintendent, says the denomination is in complete disagreement with the president’s new position and takes exception to Obama taking Scripture out of context to defend his position.

The Role of Wonder in Evangelism
- R. York Moore in Christian Post - "Twenty years ago when I began my journey from Atheism to faith in Christ, nearly all conversations about God included debate or at least a discussion of evidences for the rational foundation for faith. American cultural postmodernism has altered the way most younger people view the role of debate and discussion. While Christians need to be “bi-lingual,” speaking both the new language of postmodernity while still able to defend the faith with traditional dialogical processes, when it comes to postmodern witness, a new emphasis on wonder is needed."

Prayer meeting

30 days of prayer for the Latvian Congress June 15-17. You will find prayer subjects for each day here.

30 days prayer for the Congress in Riga

The Salvation Army Congress in Riga will take place June 15-17, 2012. You can find more information about the Congress here.

We invite you to pray with us with a special Prayer subject for each day up to the Congress. Prayer list by Sarah Ilsters,


Early Sunday morning in Riga, May 13

We are coming close to the end of the week. We have had some days with hot summer temperature and some cold days. This is springtime!

The week has been full of different activities. We have had talks with the cadets and officers receiveng their new appointments regarding practical things, like welcome meetings and quarters.

Tuesday we had a full day with the Leaders. We discussed important things, we prayed together and we shared from the Bible.

The upcoming Congress in June has also kept us busy during the week. Rehearsals and preparations for the different participating groups. We will also have special prayer subject for the last 30 days before the Congress, and the last week before the Congress we will have 24/7 prayers. Friday we inspected the Congress Hall where we will have most of the Congress activities. It will be great! Here are some pictures from the Hall:

During the week we have also had visit from the staff at the Social Center in Stockholm. They have visited Skangale, the children´s house in Sarkani, the Social Center in Riga, a Wednesday evening meeting at Riga 2 and information at Headquarters.

We also had another visit during the week. One year ago, in May 2011, we received mails frpm the Resevsky family in Australia. Before the second World War the family owned land in Lativa. When the occupation came they escaped and ended up in Australia. Now they have had the opprtunity to claim some land back. And the family have decided to give the land to the Salvation Army in Latvia. The legal process of getting the land is in process and I look forward to see the result of all this. Mark Resevsky and his wife vivited Riga during the week and we had the opportunity to meet them live for the first time..
Mark Resevsky and his wife visiting Riga

Friday evening after work we went up to one of the roof restaurants in Riga. The view was great and I wish that the picture could match the reality, but it cannot. Anyhow, here is the picture:

Yesterday, Saturday, Rut and Sarah went to the west coast to Liepaja to practice with the singers from that corps that will be part of our Regional Congress Choir. We will probably be more than sixty people in the Choir. You can read more about the Congress here. You are also welcome!

Now it is Sunday morning and we are responsible for the morning service at Riga 1. After the service we will have information and answer questions about the Salvation Army. And after that, a new week...

I pray it will be a blessed week for you.
Peter Baronowsky


Headlines week 19

Church needs more Jesus and less motivational speaking
Christian Today - "The church must put Jesus back at the centre of its message, Agu Irukwu told Baptists last night.
The senior pastor of Jesus House, in London, said some churches were too focused on trying to make Jesus and the cross palatable and acceptable to 21st century society.
“Thank God for advances in theology, thank God for thinkers in the church, thank God for churches that have to be seeker-friendly and all these other nice terms.
“But it seems that the more seeker-friendly we get, the less of Jesus we get so when people come to church they are not sure whether they are in church or at a gathering where someone is giving a motivational speech and the power is not in motivational speaking. The power is in Jesus,” he said

By Major Andrew Bale on fsaof.blogspot. com - "Holiness is about being good it’s not about doing good. Some people confuse holiness with Salvation by works. They believe that holiness encourages us to do good in order to win God's approval but as I have already said holiness is not aboutdoing good it's about being good. Of course doing good things will always be the result of of holiness, but such good works are the end of holiness and not the means.  That's why the bible prefers to talk about fruit. Fruit is easily understood as a product."


Early Sunday morning, May 6

Another Sunday morning. The past week Latvia has celebrated Indepence Day on May 4. You can read about the background fot this special day here:

"An estimated 70,000, or 89.5%, of Latvian Jews were killed in Latvia under Nazi occupation. Up to one-third of Latvia's pre-war population (approximately 630,000 residents) was lost between 1940 and 1954 due to the Holocaust and the Soviet and Nazi occupations.

After World War II, the U.S.S.R. subjected the Latvian republic to a social and economic reorganization which rapidly changed the rural economy to one based on heavy industry, transformed the predominantly ethnic Latvian population into a more multiethnic populace, and promoted urbanization. As part of the goal to more fully integrate Latvia into the Soviet Union, Stalin deported another 42,000 Latvians and continued to promote the policy of encouraging Soviet immigration to Latvia.

In July 1989, following the dramatic events in East Germany, the Latvian Supreme Soviet adopted a "Declaration of Sovereignty" and amended the Constitution to assert the supremacy of its laws over those of the U.S.S.R. Candidates from the pro-independence party Latvian Popular Front gained a two-thirds majority in the Supreme Council in the March 1990 democratic elections. On May 4, the Council declared its intention to restore full Latvian independence after a "transitional" period; 3 days later, a Latvian was chosen Prime Minister. Soviet political and military forces tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the Latvian Government. On August 21, 1991, Latvia claimed de facto independence. International recognition, including that of the U.S.S.R., followed. The United States, which had never recognized Latvia's forcible annexation by the U.S.S.R. and continued to accredit a Latvian Ambassador in Washington, recognized Latvia's renewed independence on September 2.
" (From: US Department of State)

This week we also spent a couple of days in Stockholm. When I passed Klara Church in the center of Stockholm I saw a lot of people lining up for a soup kitchen. I do not think I have seen something like that before in Sweden.
 In a few minutes we will have to take the train to Arlanda Airport to return to Riga for a busy week.
I hope it will be a blessed week for you.
Peter Baronowsky


Bridge Builder

Are You a Bridge Builder?
Brad Lomenick in Christian Post - "Building a bridge is an art. Not literal bridges that you drive over, although those are incredibly important….
I’m referring to building bridges in business, friendships, co-workers, mentors, and key partnerships. I’m referring to building a new relationship with your neighbor. I’m referring to connecting with someone that you’ve wanted to meet with for a long time and only having 15 minutes for a meeting. How do you turn that meeting into an hour or more, and then eventually into a friend?
Many folks just think that showing up is half the battle. Well, sort of. But there’s more. When it comes to winning a client, or inking a new partnership, or developing a new friendship, there are some key things I’ve learned over the years that might be helpful.
A few thoughts:
   1/  Love people until they ask why. Let your actions speak so loud that people can not help but to see your authenticity, and ultimately demand an explanation for the reason you do what you do.
   2/  Prove your craft before asking for something. Excellence, skill and know how is key on this. Show that you are competent before you demand that they should partner with you

Read more