Daily devotions

Friday

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Once again, we can put a year behind us, another year where God has been good to us.
This year we made many long trips to places where we have taught the Word of God and where we have met many interesting and admirable people in the Norwegian Salvation Army territory, comprising Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands.  

We are grateful for the ministry, which is ours, where we may support young as well as older officers in their important mission. We thank God for what we have seen him doing in people’s lives.

A great subject for thanksgiving is also our family, which now consists of 15 people, from a three-year-old granddaughter to Peter and Rut, who are turning seventy. In the beginning of December, we had the opportunity to meet almost all of them, as we gathered them all to celebrate our joint 70th anniversary. It was a memorable day with lots of playing and fun at a water land as well as a nice dinner.


We are now half way through our fourth year in Norway after retirement, and we think this will be our last year here. We plan to move back to Sweden next summer.  Where, we don’t know yet!

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year, with Jesus in the center of your lives.


Rut and Peter

Thursday

Christian Believers In Iran See Growth In Midst Of Persecution

- Prophes News Watch -

Christianity's growth in Iran has continued despite the Islamic regime's crackdown on religious freedoms. This month, three Christian converts were sentenced to a brutal and humiliating punishment of 80 lashes following their May, 2016 arrest for drinking communion wine.

Yaser Mosibzadeh, Saheb Fadayee and Mohammed Reza Omidi were all convicted of blasphemy by a Sharia court after their house was raided during a private worship service. But they are far from alone.

In 2015, at least 108 Christians were jailed for their faith. In September of this year, 25 Christians were arrested in a raid and jailed for practicing their faith in the city of Kermen.

In the case of the 25 worshippers in Kermen, no official reason was given for their arrest. In August, authorities raided another house church and arrested 11 in the central Iranian city of Isfahan. Also in August, police outside Tehran arrested 5 Christians at a picnic for public displays of their faith.


Read more HERE.

Kent's Transformation


Kent Buckner started experimenting with drugs and alcohol at the ripe age of 8. After being molested by a close family member who used their knowledge of his experimentation to extort him, Kent neglected to tell his mother, which ultimately led to a pattern of drug and alcohol use following him into his adolescence. It was in jail that Kent finally realized the dire need to change his life and begin the process of rehabilitation. Watch Kent reminisce on his life choices and express how his relationship with Christ has completely transformed his outlook.

Tuesday

It takes time

- Danielle Strickland in JAC Online -

I keep learning this. I’m sure you do to. We live in an instantaneous world. If my email takes longer than ten seconds to load I open another browser window. I’m not kidding. I can’t take slow. And that’s a spiritual problem. Because it takes time to get to the place where we are ready to connect with God. It takes some time to empty ourselves of ourselves. It takes time to listen, to pray, to hear, to learn, to try. It all takes time. And it’s worth the time too. Time is the most valuable commodity we have. I need to learn to waste it on God. It’s His after all. I need to allow myself to take the time to experience God.

So, the long and winding road of prayer is frustrating and rewarding. Those things go together a lot if you think about it. Let’s just say, it bothered me in all the right ways! It reminded me that we are all on a journey, all the time, with a lot of amazing people. I’m trying to pay more attention – not to just ‘get somewhere’ but to enjoy the path there.
Read more HERE.

France: The Ticking Time Bomb of Islamization

- Prophesy News Watch -
Recently, two important studies about French Muslims were released in France. The first one, optimistically entitled, "A French Islam is Possible," was published under the auspices of Institut Montaigne, an independent French think tank.

The second study, entitled, "Work, the Company and the Religious Question," is the fourth annual joint study between the Randstad Institute (a recruiting company) and the Observatory of Religious Experience at Work (Observatoire du fait religieux en entreprise, OFRE), a research company.

Both studies, filling a huge knowledge-deficit on religious and ethnic demography, were widely reported in the media. France is a country well-equipped with demographers, scholars, professors and research institutes, but any official data or statistics based on race, origin or religion are prohibited by law.

Read more HERE.

Thursday

Agressive Christianity

Read the original ´papers on Aggressive Christianity´ by Catherine Booth.

Download the pdf-file HERE.

Contents:
AGGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY
A PURE GOSPEL
ADAPTATION OF MEASURES
ASSURANCE OF SALVATION
HOW CHRIST TRANSCENDS THE LAW
THE FRUITS OF UNION WITH CHRIST
WITNESSING FOR CHRIST
FILLED WITH T SPIRIT
THE WORLD´S NEED
THE HOLY GHOST


Tuesday

Tribute to Major Geoffrey Freind (1957-2016)

- TSA international Website -

"On Wednesday the 21st September 2016, Major Geoff Freind was promoted to Glory in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Earlier this year, Geoff had been released from appointment responsibilities in Western Australia to pursue a strong calling on his life to preach the good news about Jesus in the developing world. Geoff had visited many countries in South East Asia as well as a number of countries in Africa. He was in Malawi as part of his current preaching tour. Whilst he was there he was attacked walking down the street suffering serious injuries of which he did not recover.

Geoff has left his indelible mark on not only his family, friends and Salvationist colleagues but also the broader community through his personal engagement. Geoff had a real heart and passion to support The Salvation Army’s work and those in need both in developing countries and here. He was a strong advocate for the disadvantaged of our community. Geoff supported The Salvation Army Howard Hospital in Zimbabwe and Chikankata Hospital in Zambia, financially and with material aid and much of his fundraising efforts were achieved through the writing of his books : Enjoy the Journey, Thank you for the Journey and A Great Journey"
Read more HERE.

Thursday

Trading the Taliban – for the truth, the way and the life

- Onfire -

Muhammad Khurram’s surname means ‘a happy person’ and that’s what he is, despite trials, tribulations and a life of insane violence. Born in Pakistan, near the capital Islamabad, he was brought up in a world where the truth is determined by the barrel of a shotgun. Once, a Taliban commander ordered him to shoot a handcuffed and blindfolded man. Oddly enough, this was to be the start of his journey with God, explains Menno de Boer.

   ‘Where I come from, the Taliban determine what’s true or not. These extremely fantatic Muslims are always right, other opinions don’t count. Anyone who dares to think differently will be punished or killed. Everything is permitted in the name of Allah.’

Read more HERE

Wednesday

ISIS Has A New Focus: Killing Christians And Bombing Church

- Prophesy News Watch -

"If you are a Christian, ISIS wants to kill you. Our politicians keep telling us that our battle with ISIS is not a "religious war", but to ISIS it most certainly is.

As you will see below, ISIS has a new focus. They are very clear about the fact that they intend to kill as many "citizens of the cross" as they possibly can, and they plan to bomb churches wherever they can find them.

In a previous article, I explained how an entire church in the U.S. ended up on an ISIS kill list, and we just saw in France that they are willing to strike anywhere and at any time.

Religious targets now appear to be a top priority for ISIS, and that means that every church and every Christian in the western world needs to start thinking differently about security.

Let's start by taking a look at what is happening in Africa. Boko Haram's brutality has made headlines all over the planet, and the infamous terror organization has pledged complete loyalty to ISIS at this point.

In the past, Boko Haram has hit both Christian and Muslim targets, but now the new leader of Boko Haram is promising to following ISIS guidelines and to focus primarily on bombing churches and killing Christians...

Earlier this month, a man named Abu Musab al-Barnawi announced that he had taken over the infamous Boko Haram organization. And his first message as Boko Haram's leader was as clear as it was concise--on his watch, the group's main focus will be killing Christians.

According to an interview published this month by the self-proclaimed Islamic State group (ISIS), al-Barnawi threatened to bomb churches and kill Christians, but will no longer attack places used by Muslims."
Read more HERE.

World Vision: Hamas Funding Only Latest Anti-Israel Mission

- Prophesy News Watch- 

How would you react to the possibility that your generous offerings and gifts to a Christian outreach organization did not alleviate the sufferings of the sick, hungry, poor, orphaned, widow or refugee? Instead, they were used to buy weapons that would shed the blood of innocent people, including women and children, in heinous terrorist attacks.

That's the awkward perception that World Vision International, perhaps the world's largest Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization, finds itself on the receiving end of today.

A recent article Yossi Aloni for Israel Today reported the revelation that 60 percent of World Vision's annual budget for the Gaza Strip was diverted by Hamas to the tune of $7.2 million per year. Much of that money was given in cash to Hamas militants, while even more was used to finance the construction of terror tunnels and to purchase weapons.

Reda more HERE.

Monday

Salvation Army: The Rain Is Coming

From JAC online by Captain Pete Brookshaw
 
Salvationists have been praying.
 
Some are cranking it up with all-night prayer meetings. Other are getting groups together and praying 24/7. Many around the globe are praying every morning for The Salvation Army.
 
God is stirring something up. I feel like I'm in a large pot, sitting on the stove, with the temperature gradually getting hotter, and some of my Salvationist friends are becoming heated up molecules that are starting to bounce off each other and are starting to spread the anticipation. The pot is getting ready to boil over. The gates of hell will not prevail when that happens!

Read more HERE.

Saturday

Why God Is Not Finished With The Salvation Army

From JAC Online by Captain Pete Brookshaw
 
The response was varied. The readership was huge. The viral nature of a previous article astounded me. I wrote a piece entitled, 'Why The Salvation Army is in decline and what we can do about it!'  For different reasons it sparked discussion right around the globe (especially in the West - and many are right when they assert that decline is most relevant IN the West). In one corner people agreed, and in another there was vehement disagreement. Some sought to sharpen up the original post, with some clarifying thoughts. Some pointed out that some of my assertions were general assumptions and not applicable to their setting.
 
Well, the dust has settled and I want to follow up that provocative post with Part 2: Why God is Not Finished with The Salvation Army.
 
I am convinced that Salvationists need a sense of urgency of the need for change, hence my previous post. One does not get a hair cut until they are dissatisfied with their current hair style (Ok, I do not speak from experience on that one...). You know what I mean? We cannot change the course of history by trying to solve the challenges we have with the same thinking that existed when the challenge arose. We must think outside the box. Give new things a shot. We keep what is absolutely essential to what makes us The Salvation Army, and allow the Lord to reveal to us new ways of expressing gospel-centered ministry to a broken world in our rapidly changing global environment.
 
So, that's why I have written this post. God is not finished with The Salvation Army. In fact, I think the best days are still ahead. No offense, Will and Kate. You did great things. Though God has planted something within this movement that desires to do greater things!

Read mor HERE.

Thursday

Why The Salvation Army Is In Decline and What We Can Do About It

From JAC Online by Captain Pete Brookshaw
 
This may well be my most provocative article yet. Sometimes things are just painful. If you don't like pain, please turn away now. And this blog comes with a warning; these are my thoughts and my musings, not that of The Salvation Army, nor those of my wife. My children are only 2, 5 and 7, so it sure ain't theirs either. You can blame me if you disagree.
 
The Salvation Army is in decline.
 
The quicker we acknowledge the truth, the better.
 
Stephen Court highlights some sobering statistics in a blog back on January 20th at Army Barmy. Let's look at the facts:
 
1. Number of Corps
 
2015 - 15636
2016 – 13826
Decline of 1810 in one year.
 
----      
2. Junior Soldiers 
2015 - 385994
2016 – 378881
---- 
3. Senior Soldiers
2015 – 1174913
2016 – 1056722
----
4. Soldiers (combined)
2015 – 1560607
2016 – 1435533
Decline – 125074
----    
5. Officers.
2015 – 26497
2016 – 26675
 
Before I highlight why I believe The Salvation Army is in decline, we might as well admit that it is. One does not deal with their alcoholism until they admit they're an alcoholic. 
 
Let me suggest some reasons WHY I think The Salvation Army is in decline and this is the bit that gets controversial:
  • We have promoted music over mission
  • We have placed the Holy Spirit into the pentecostal don't-dare-go-there basket
  • We have created an unnecessary divide between evangelism and social work
  • We have failed to call people to follow Jesus
  • We have relied on our Public Image, more than our Image-giver
  • We have taken our eyes off the radical mission God calls us to, and watered it down to a pew-warming, lovey-dovey environment that celebrates mediocrity. And yes, I spelt mediocrity wrong, because I couldn't be bothered fixing it. Call me apathetic.
Hmm... Should I go on?
We lost sight of the identity of the Army, within the trappings of the Army, and are only now seeking to reclaim the identity that we so quickly dismissed.
We call people to less than full salvation in Christ.
Maybe I've said too much and maybe the list is incomplete. Maybe we don't need to focus on such things? Maybe I'm being too pessimistic for once. Well, it's difficult to fix a problem you don't believe exists. 
 
Have a read of this:
 
Major Darren Elkington offers these provocative, yet insightful words, 'Sociologists would tell us that we are now living in a new age … that the old is gone … replaced by a new reality … that we are no longer living in the age of Christendom … but rather a new erathe post Christian era where every area of life is steadily being divorced from Christian ideals and re-interpreted in humanistic terms. Meaning that for many today, that the things that we cherish: God, Christ, grace, the cross, Easter … the church … is considered meaningless, irrelevant, and for some they would even go as far as saying to believe in that stuff is just strange or bizarre.
Now, like all new ideas … this is all debatable … and it’s certainly not my intention to debate whether or not this is indeed our new reality  … except to say … if it is true … then surely it requires a newness, a freshness, a new way of thinking and doing … Because if we simply continue operating under an old premise … or that this new division becomes no more than just the old division re-badged as new … then my prediction is that this new division will go the way of the old … each year producing less Soldiers, smaller congregations, fewer conversions, less ministry and more closures of corps.   
And so we need to embrace the new … new leadership, a new way of doing, new ideas, news initiatives, new possibilities, and as we do, I don’t believe it means that we have to re-invent ourselves.  This time last year, I arrived in back in Australia after being out of the country for the last 6 years … and what I’ve encountered on my return is a busy army, a diverse army, a social army, a uniformed army, a caring army, a fundraising army, a compliant army … and these are all good things in themselves to be … But God raised us up to be a Salvation Army … William Booth said it best.  This is our speciality: Getting saved, keeping saved, and getting someone else saved, and then getting ourselves mightily saved again and again.' 
 
So what can we do about it?
 
We need to be The Salvation Army. We don't need more facebook groups celebrating old Salvation Army buildings that have closed down, brass bands that had glory days in the 1970s and social media communities that are designed to have a whinge about the past, the present and anything worthy of trying to better the future. 
 
Fix your eyes upon Jesus, Salvation Army. God raised us up for more than good music, good social work and a comfortable Sunday morning. We are called to win the world for Jesus. Anything less is an insult to William Booth and a kick in the guts to Catherine. Re-embrace a radical, passionate, courageous faith in Christ, that causes you to substitute what is good, for what is great. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Pray like Jesus is coming back tomorrow. Live like you only have days left on the earth. Commit to sacrificial giving, disciplined obedience and compassionate gospel work.
 
Come on. Let's change the world.
 
Repent. Pray. Believe. Radically respond.

Wednesday

How An Entire Church Ended Up On An ISIS Kill List

- Prophesy News Watch -

"On Wednesday, I was contacted by someone on an ISIS kill list.  Of course there are probably lots of people out there that believe that "ISIS is after them", but this particular individual and his wife were actually told that they are on an ISIS kill list by the FBI.

Not only are they on the list, but so is their pastor.  It turns out that ISIS has apparently been pulling names off of church directories on the Internet, and so now an entire church has ended up on an ISIS kill list. 

In the past perhaps many of us would have been less alarmed by this, but the attacks in Orlando, Dallas, Nice, and Baton Rouge are all still fresh in our minds.  Innocent people are being targeted and killed just to make a statement, and nobody knows who will be next."

Read more HERE.

Tuesday

Jihadists Encouraged On Social Media To Kill Israeli Athletes At Rio Olympics

- Prophesy News Watch -

"Israeli athletes set to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil are among the competitors targeted by groups linked with al-Qaeda, the UK's Daily Star reported on Thursday.
Groups associated with the terrorist organization posted a list on social media advising attacks on British, American, French and Israeli targets at the upcoming event in Rio de Janeiro.

   The post said, "Your chance to take part in the global Jihad is here! Your chance to be a martyr is here!"

   The post also encouraged jihadists to employ a range of techniques, such as kidnapping, explosives, poison and drones. "One small knife attack in these places will have bigger media effect than any other attacks," the post said, according to the Daily Star.

   The al-Qaeda-linked groups claimed getting into Brazil should be easy, and once inside, will not be difficult to cause death and destruction, after having access to guns and explosives in Rio's "crime-ridden slums."

Read more HERE.

Thursday

The Pentecostal Baptism of the Holy Ghost

Several of Paul's letters in the New Testament were intended to be read by other
congregations for their own edification. This very early apostolic missive from
William Booth to the comrades at Dunedin Hall serves a similar purpose. Booth
instructs us in the one essential for success in soul-winning. Please remember
that he writes a full generation before the Asuza Street Revival, which gave birth
to the Pentecostal Movement. May his prayer for a hundred-fold increase in
fruitfulness be realised in all of us today.
This was first published in The East London Evangelist, 1 April 1869. - S.C.
JOURNAL OF AGGRESSIVE CHRISTIANITY
Issue 1, June/July 1999 
The Conquerors Column
The Pentecostal Baptism of the Holy Ghost
by William Booth
TO THE BRETHREN AND SISTERS LABOURING FOR JESUS in connection
with the Dunedin Hall Christian Mission, Edinburgh 
BELOVED FRIENDS Though I have not been privileged to see you in the flesh, yet I have heard with great thankfulness from time to time of your work of faith and labour of love: and I rejoice greatly in the abundant blessing granted to your labours, and bless God for every brand plucked from the everlasting through your instrumentality. I earnestly pray that you may be made a hundredfold more useful in the future than you have been in the past. The work in which you are engaged is the most important that can engage the attention or call forth the energies of any being... 
Success in soulwinning, like all other work, both human and divine, depends on certain conditions... If you want to succeed you must be careful to comply with these conditions... I desire to give a few brief practical hints...And, first and foremost, I commend one qualification which seems to involve all others. That is, the Pentecostal baptism of the Holy Ghost. I would have you settle it in your souls for ever this one great immutable principle in the economy of grace, that
spiritual work can only be done by those who possess spiritual power. No matter
what else you may lack, or what may be against you, with the Holy Ghost you will
succeed; but without the Holy Spirit, no matter what else you may possess, you
will utterly and eternally fail.

Many make mistakes here. Aroused by the inward urgings of the Holy Spirit, they
endeavour to comply with the call which comes from the word and the
necessities of their fellow men; but being destitute of this power, they fail, and
instead of going to the Strong for strength, they give up in despair. Again
aroused, again they resolve and venture forth, but having no more power than
before, they are as impotent as ever. And fail they must, until baptised with
power from on high. This I am convinced, is the one great need of the Church.
We want no new truths, agencies, means, or appliances. We only want more of
the fire of the Holy Ghost. ...

O what zeal, what self-denial, what meekness, what boldness, what holiness,
what love, would there not be? And with all this, what power for your great work?
The whole city would feel it. God's people in every direction would catch the fire,
and sinners would fall on every side. Difficulties would vanish, devils be
conquered, infidels believe, and the glory of God be displayed...

You do desire to see signs and wonders wrought in the name of Jesus. To see a
great awakening among the careless crowds around you.... This baptism then, is
your first great need. If you think with me, will you not tarry for it? Offer
yourselves to God for the fullness. Lay aside every weight... Hold on! Though
your feelings are barren, your way dark, and your difficulties be multiplied,
steadily hang on the word of God. Expect the baptism every hour; wait if he tarry.
'This kind goeth not forth but by prayer and fasting'; and the Lord whom you seek
shall suddenly come to his temple.

I have more to say to you, but must wait another opportunity. Yours in the
fellowship of the Gospel,

William Booth
(c) Renewal Journal #6 (1995:2), Brisbane, Australia, pp. 26-32

Tuesday

The Story of the Century: Christianity & Islam

- Prophesy News Watch -

We told you recently on BreakPoint that despite appearances in our corner of the world, religion is not going extinct. Quite the contrary. Predictions by the likes of Nietzsche, Marx, and Freud that faith would vanish have turned out spectacularly wrong.

Yes, in the West (particularly Europe) religion is on the decline. But on a global scale, secularism is the worldview that's losing steam. As Giles Fraser wrote recently in The Guardian, "The secularization hypothesis is a European myth, a piece of myopic parochialism that shows how narrow our worldview [is]... Religion is the future."

But which religion?

Recent events have brought radical Islam back into the spotlight. But the world's second-largest and fastest-growing religion is much bigger than the jihadists of Al-Qaeda or ISIS.

There are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, comprising several major sects. And though terrorism puts an exclamation mark on Islam, you could write a whole book about the millions of Muslims who are more concerned with living out their faith than engaging in violent jihad.

And like Christianity, Islam is growing. Fast. A study last year by Pew Research concluded that by 2050, Islam will swell to 2.76 billion adherents, or one third of the world's population!

Christianity, meanwhile, is expected to hold on to its title as the world's largest religion, tipping the scales at just under 3 billion professing adherents.

Reade more HERE

Sunday

The Islamization Of Sweden


- Prophesy News Watch - 

"The Church of Sweden has departed from being a strong and stern state church. In the past, Swedes were born into it and, until 1951, no one was allowed to leave the church. 
 
   These days, however, it is an institution that has very little to do with Christianity or Jesus. Sweden now, according to the World Values Survey, is one of the world's most secular countries; every year a large number of Swedes leave the church.
 
   It used to be that only atheists left the church; now it is the devout Christians that leave -- in protest against the church's increasingly questionable relationship to the Christian faith.

Read more HERE.

Monday

Egypt: New Attacks On Christians

- Prophesy News Watch -

In a chronically familiar scene, angry, rioting Muslims in Egypt burned down around 80 Christian homes on June 17. In the words of one of the victims, Moses Zarif,

"On Friday afternoon, after noon prayers, a large number of Muslims gathered in the front of the new house of my cousin because a rumor had spread in the village that it would be turned into a church.

They were chanting slogans against us: 'By no means will there be a church here' and 'Egypt will remain Islamic!'"

According to the report, rioting Muslims beat the two cousins, attacked the building, destroyed all construction materials, and threw rocks at any Christian trying to intervene.

Then they "turned their wrath on the Christian homes adjacent to the building, hurled rocks, looted houses and set fire to any Christian property in their wake."

When the local priest heard what was happening, he rushed to the scene -- only to be attacked while in his car; the Muslims climbed on it, stomped on it, and damaged it.


Read more HERE.

Tuesday

Rapid Advance To Cashless Society And Digital Control By Authorities

- Prophesy News Watch - 

"Society has come a long way since the days of barter to the era of coins followed by paper currencies, and now banks and governments around the world stand ready to take the next step: eliminating cash altogether.


People increasingly rely upon direct deposit of wages, credit cards and now electronic payment services offered by such companies as Google and Apple, but could the cash point machine and cash itself disappear altogether in the coming years?

Imagine a world in which you cannot hold a one dollar bill in your hand and may only send or receive money with permission of a bank.

The reasons often given to eliminate cash are to disrupt criminal transactions, cut off funding to terrorism, stop tax evasion and of course, to save on the costs to banks and governments.

Following the money has been a time-honored tactic, from Al Capone who was brought down for tax evasion to the bombings by the United States of cash stockpiles held by the Islamic State.

Soon that will be only a click away for the corporate-controlled Surveillance State.

Read more HERE.

Thursday

The new basis for war: Jihadism

- Dagens Nyheter - 

Armed conflicts associated with militant Islamism, so-called jihadism, now account for over 50 percent of all people killed in battle. This is shown by new unique data from peace and conflict researchers at Sweden’s Uppsala University.

Syria dominates the jihadist war category. This is because the researchers have divided the complex Syrian opposition into merely three parties, the Kurds, ISIS and ”insurgents”. The latter constellation contains several Islamist groupings.
– We have made historic comparisons, always with the same definitions, and the change is striking, says Isak Svensson, professor at Uppsala University.

One reason for the surge in the number of deaths in conflicts where jihadism is a component, as well as a surge in the number of conflicts overall, is that ISIS has opened ”franchises” in a swathe of countries. At the same time, some rebel groups have changed their rhetoric from nationalist or socialist to jihadist.

Read mor HERE.

Tuesday

Mission Possible

- From JAC Online by Major Daniel Freeman -

We are called to be missionaries. I know that this is a loaded statement with many cultural and historical context.  Perhaps there are other words that may not carry as much baggage; however, instead of creating a new phrase or using some ambiguous term, allow me to take you on a walk through what it means to me to be a missionary.

One of the best places to begin is with the Great Commission where Jesus tells us in just a couple sentences what our job as the body of Christ is —“…be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NIV)  It is interesting how this list of locations is a progression from the known to the unknown, from the comfortable to the uncomfortable, from the appreciated to the despised.

The first location that Jesus starts with is Jerusalem.  Jerusalem can be seen as a metaphor for the people who we can connect easiest with such as our families, friends, coworkers or others we socialize with.  They understand us.  They know our story and perhaps they have been exposed to Christianity in a positive way so that you have a common ground.  

Judea is a step away from the familiar.  Perhaps in Judea you do not have as much in common.  Maybe the same language, the same sports team, or the types of food you eat.  But it is going to be harder to connect because you do not see things the same way and their values may be different than yours.  Perhaps what they think is important, you do not and it may be that what you see as important they see as irrelevant.

It is with Judea that our work as a missionary begins.  Being a missionary or being missional is about communicating the Gospel of Jesus Christ across boundaries. It is about presenting the Gospel in a way that is understood by others. It is so easy to say and so hard to do. 

Read more HERE.

Wednesday

When Muslims Meet Christ: A Growing Trend, An Answer To Prayer

Prophesy News Watch

"For the last several years, researchers have noted what happens when Muslims meet Christ--huge numbers of them are becoming followers of Jesus.

According to some researchers, the number of Muslims who have switched allegiance from Muhammad to Christ has skyrocketed from effectively zero in 1960 to as many as 16 million worldwide today. That includes roughly 470,000 right here in the U. S., including Rima Fakih....

J. Dudley Woodberry, a noted Christian scholar of Islam, cites five reasons Muslims are deciding for Christ: the lifestyle of Christians; the power of God in answered prayers and healing; dissatisfaction with the type of Islam they have experienced; the spiritual truth in the Bible; and biblical teachings about the love of God.

Some of these things we can control; others are up to God alone. For instance, there are reports that Jesus is appearing to many Muslims in dreams and visions, especially to those who have little access to the Bible or Christians."

Read more HERE.

Monday

In Depth with Danielle Strickland - Part 3 of 3

- God TV - "Social justice advocate, Danielle Strickland of the Salvation Army talks about William Booth's historic role in helping refugees, which continues today. Danielle believes the Refugee Crisis could be the Church’s greatest opportunity and that we must not allow fear to stop us. “As we share a revolution of kindness, we will enter the Church's finest hour,” she says.

Danielle is a speaker, writer and currently serves as Social Justice Secretary for the Salvation Army in the Western United States, based in Los Angeles. She is also associated with Stop The Traffik, Canada and exposes the vulnerability of refugees to Human Trafficking, sharing ways viewers can help support victims."

Watch the video HERE (25 min)

Thursday

In Depth with Danielle Strickland - Part 2 of 3

- God TV - "Social justice advocate, Danielle Strickland of the Salvation Army talks about William Booth's historic role in helping refugees, which continues today. Danielle believes the Refugee Crisis could be the Church’s greatest opportunity and that we must not allow fear to stop us. “As we share a revolution of kindness, we will enter the Church's finest hour,” she says.

Danielle is a speaker, writer and currently serves as Social Justice Secretary for the Salvation Army in the Western United States, based in Los Angeles. She is also associated with Stop The Traffik, Canada and exposes the vulnerability of refugees to Human Trafficking, sharing ways viewers can help support victims."

Watch the video HERE (26 min)

Tuesday

Christians In UK Now Outnumbered By Atheists

- Sky News - 

Research says that the Anglican and Catholic churches are failing to hold on to those brought up as Christians.

Almost half of those in England and Wales say they are of no religion, outnumbering those who identify as Christian for the first time.

According to new research, around 48.5% of those surveyed in 2015 said they had no religion, compared to the 25% that said the same in the 2011 census.

Those who identified themselves as Christians, including Anglicans, Catholics and other denominations, made up 43.8%.

The percentage describing themselves as Anglican slid from 44.5% in 1983 to just 19% in 2014.

In the same year, Catholics made up 8.3%, other Christians were 15.7% and those of non-Christian religions were 7.7%.

Read more HERE.

Sunday

In Depth with Danielle Strickland

- God TV - "Social justice advocate, Danielle Strickland of the Salvation Army talks about William Booth's historic role in helping refugees, which continues today. Danielle believes the Refugee Crisis could be the Church’s greatest opportunity and that we must not allow fear to stop us. “As we share a revolution of kindness, we will enter the Church's finest hour,” she says.

Danielle is a speaker, writer and currently serves as Social Justice Secretary for the Salvation Army in the Western United States, based in Los Angeles. She is also associated with Stop The Traffik, Canada and exposes the vulnerability of refugees to Human Trafficking, sharing ways viewers can help support victims."

Watch the video HERE (28 min)

Thursday

A word to the dry bones

A Prophecy to The Salvation Army in the West by Andrew Bale (From JAC online)

"So for the sake of my name – not yours – I am going to restore you. Once again the name Salvation Army and holiness will be synonymous. I will do this for my sake, for the sake of my holy name which you have belittled. Once again those on the very edge of society, the unloved and friendless will know that I am God – I will prove myself through you (even though you are not worthy of your calling). I have chosen you and once again your name will be associated with mine. (36:22-23)

I am going to set you apart once more, I will make you stand out from the crowd and lead you back to your original mission. I will baptise you with fire, I will thoroughly wash you until every stain is gone. I will destroy your idols. The things you believe make you respectable and worthy I will smash. I will restore your passion for the lost; I will give you a new heart. I will take away your cold unbelieving heart and give you a heart that desires to obey me. You will go back to your original calling, once more street evangelism, slum and gutter brigades, pub raids and prayer mats will be used to attack the kingdom of my enemies and you will win souls like the Christian Mission. You will be filled with pioneer enthusiasm for militant evangelism. You will be my soldiers and I will be your general. (36:24-29)

It is time to reap, open the doors of your citadels and come rejoicing bringing in the sheaves. No longer will you be despised and rejected, no longer will you be dismissed as an historic curio, you will win the lost and everyday I will add more to your ranks. You will go out into the streets and revival will rain down upon you, you will splash in puddles of revival like children playing in the rain. Yet the more I bless you the more you will repent. The more I use you the more ashamed you will become. If withholding my blessing forced you to your knees in repentance then my new Pentecost will provide the light required to see your sin in all its grotesque glory. You will be victorious but this new humility will allow all praise to pass to me. (36:30-32)

Once again your Corps will be so numerous you will run out of names for them! You will simply add numbers to the end of a city name as you did when you began. The urban areas will be your field and the wasteland and backstreet will be your vineyard. These dark corners will become like a new Eden. My kingdom will come to the cities, and the addicted and oppressed that I set free through you, will do my will! I have spoken and I will do it! Wash the streets, remove the burnt out vehicle, and prepare the way of the Lord. (36:33-36)

I will listen to the prayers of Salvationists once more; I will unblock my ears and focus my attention on them. I will swell their ranks and they will know that I am God. (36:37-38)"

Read mor HERE.

Wednesday

Muslim Refugees Run To Christianity In Europe

- Prophesy News Watch -

"Many Muslim refugees fleeing war-torn Syria, and other Middle Eastern countries are converting to Christianity once they get to Europe, various news organizations are reporting. While there would be harsh repercussions for doing this in Syria or Iraq, there are still some obstacles new believers face.

   Christianity Today reported on a mass baptism of 80 refugees from Iran and Afghanistan in Hamburg, Germany. Albert Babajan, the pastor doing the Baptisms, said there have been about 200 so far this year and he expects as many as 500 before the year ends. Denmark and Austria are also having mass conversions among refugees.

   But just because they are in Europe, in a new country that is more open to religious freedom, that does not mean their troubles are over. Other organizations are reporting that once these people convert they are persecuted by Islamic leaders within the refugee groups."


Read more HERE.

Thursday

The Great Rapture Debate

- From Prophesy News Watch - 

Though the term Rapture does not appear in the Bible, it is derived from the Latin, raptus, which means "a carrying off." Because of numerous biblical scriptures, the Bible indicates that when the end really does come and the going gets tougher than anyone can possibly describe, the Church, described as the Bride, will mysteriously disappear and join Christ in the air as he appears in the clouds. This disappearance, described in 1 Corinthians 15:52, will be virtually instantaneous, in the twinkling of an eye. 

There is perhaps no greater debate when it comes to Bible Prophecy than the nature and timing of this event.  LifeWay Research recently polled 1,000 senior protestant pastors about their rapture beliefs, with the following results: 

" Pre-Tribulation View - 36%.  Christians who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture in which the Church will be taken up to heaven before the Tribulation period begins- an escape from the prophesied apocalypse. 

" Mid-Tribulational View - 4%.  Christians who believe in a mid-tribulation rapture that will occur 3.5 years into the Tribulation.

" Post Tribulational View - 18%. Christians who believe in a post-tribulation rapture in which the event occurs at the end of the 7-year Tribulation. In this case, the Church would suffer through the 7-years of devastation: death, torture, starvation, plague, war and climate-change far beyond any climate-change that is happening at the present.

" None of the above - 25%.  Those who believe the rapture should not be taken literally.

Read more HERE.

Tuesday

A Prophecy for the Western Territories of The Salvation Army and for Individual Soldiers Within The Salvation Army

- Andrew Bale in JAC online - "(Editor's Remarks: in January 2007, Major Janet Munn prophesied that "The Salvation Army is coming into its finest hour." It is in this context that we offer the prophecy from Andrew Bale (also in January). Please consider Bale's offering as a potential means of positioning ourselves so that God can fulfill Munn's word.)

The following came to me today in prayer and I share it in humility – may God bless, redeem, sanctify and use the Salvation Army – Hallelujah!

“The Salvation Army is one of my favoured children. In your youth I gave you a multicoloured coat woven with a weft of marvellous signs and wonders, but over the years you have rebelled against me until you are no longer able to recognise the sound of my voice. It is bad enough when a parent and child refuse to speak but when one fails to recognise the voice of the other the situation has become tragic. I am speaking to you as much as I ever have done but you do not recognise my voice.

• I am still calling you in the direction of the disenfranchised and friendless but you cannot hear me.
• I will am still calling you to purity of living and holiness but you cannot hear me.
• I am still calling you to stand between the oppressed and the oppressor but you cannot hear me.
• I am still calling you to the mighty work of soul winning but you cannot hear me.
• I am still calling you to poverty, persecution and victory but you cannot hear me.

Read more HERE.

Wednesday

Ten Years in Russia; 1913-1923 CONCLUSION

From Ten Years in Russia; 1913-1923 -Karl Larsson 
Translation: SEL

Marusja - every time I hear that name my thoughts are brought to a house located at  Petergovskij Prospectus 22.

It was a late on Marus Monday evening, named after Avraham Marek Klingberg, known as Marcus – reputed to have saved the world from the Nazis, in November 1917. A group of Petrograd Salvation Army officers from Finland working in Russia had gathered together to spend their free evening. Among them were also some Russian Salvationist, and there was one that especially by her genuine Russian character was different from the others.

Despite her natural vivacity there was the essence of a prayer for indulgence because she was wrapped in a striped scarf and a white cloth on her head, she sat near the steaming tea kitchen at the lower end of the table. It was Marusja. Her early years she had spent in the teahouse world. She grew up in a Russian slum home and had as a child been thrown into the street, where she as a barefoot little beggar managed to get by, singing their country's melancholy folk songs....


Read more HERE.

Tuesday

Ten Years in Russia; 1913-1923 PART TWO OF THREE

From Ten Years in Russia; 1913-1923 - Karl Larsson


“To Wasjas village ", the abode of the worst misery amid Petrograd’s most abundant luxury, came two Salvation Army officers on a Saturday afternoon. They looked through a narrow gate, on the walls to see if there still something left beyond its plaster, but saw instead images of evil itself. They came through a narrow walkway walking into one of the first housing areas, on whose open landscape was piled smelly garbage heaps, and where hungry, mangy cats and dogs wallowed. The anxiety that this sight elicited grew increasingly, while the officers groped in the pitch-dark hall, where a humid air beat against them. Who's there?" was the answer to their knock...

Read more HERE.

Sunday

From Ten Years in Russia Part One of Three

From FSAOF blogg:

From Ten Years in Russia; 1913-1923
Karl Larsson 
Translation: SEL

In order that the reader fully appreciate the atmosphere that surrounded us during those immortal days, I will make a selection up from the testimonies to which we were able to listen.

A young military man, who came to the Mercy Seat during one of the Easter meetings, said in his testimony, among other things the following:
"I was once sentenced to death, but through an officer's intervention my sentence was abridged into ten years' hard work. I've been at the front, and it is fully appropriate, that I'm here. Since I arrived in Petrograd, I have sought out old acquaintances, gone from place to place, but have not been received anywhere. My heart was deeply distraught. But then I saw The Salvation Army procession on Nevsky Prospect, and I followed them and came here. Here I’ve found people who love me, and here I have found Jesus Christ."

He had hardly had time to finish until he became embraced and kissed by several Salvationists and friends in a genuine brotherly manner.

Read more HERE.

Thursday

Why Is It Never The Terrorist's Fault?

- Prophesy News Watch - 

"A disturbingly clear pattern has emerged in the wake of the increase in terrorism around the world, especially in the West. Whenever there is a terrorist attack, the parents, friends and families of the perpetrators are always in "deep shock."

.... Among all these stories of feigned shock and surprise, that of the parents of the Hamas terrorist who bombed the Jerusalem bus recently (wounding 20 people and killing himself) takes the prize. Not only do the parents insist they had "no idea" their son had been involved with the Hamas, they feel no remorse for his actions and astoundingly blame Israel and the Jews for his actions: "You Jews have to understand something: Abed al-Hamid did not come from a poor family; he came from an affluent one. He had his own car. A family with property and money ... a cultured household -- with manners, respect, education -- which opposes violence. You Israelis have to ask yourselves what causes a boy like ours to want to do such a thing. And I am telling you: Israel is responsible. Israel caused this generation to act this way. This generation has no future. No work. You pressure them and hurt them and create a hopeless situation for them. You are turning the young generation into what it is. The next generation, the young children, will be even more dangerous."

Read more HERE.

Tuesday

Global Leaders Begin To Panic Over "Economic Collapse"

- Prophesy News Watch -

"Mainstream news outlets are already starting to use the phrase "economic collapse" to describe what is going on in some areas of our world right now. 

   For many Americans this may seem a bit strange, but the truth is that the worldwide economic slowdown that began during the second half of last year is starting to get a lot worse.  In this article, we are going to examine evidence of this from South America, Europe, Asia and North America. 

   Once we are done, it should be obvious that there is absolutely no reason to be optimistic about the direction of the global economy right now.  The warnings of so many prominent experts are now becoming a reality, and what we have witnessed so far are just the early chapters of a crushing economic crisis that will affect every man, woman and child in the entire world."

Sunday

The Real Purpose Of A Cashless Society

- Prophesy News Watch

"Countries worldwide are actively working towards eliminating cash-based transactions in favor of electronic and biometric options. Does this trend merely reflect the embracing of technologically-driven advantages that allow banking and finance to be conducted more efficiently? Could there be more than meets the eye?

    One might be forgiven for shrugging it all off as coincidental or inconsequential. After all, technological advances do come with benefits that governments, businesses, and individuals can capitalize on all the time. Nevertheless, indications also point to a parallel but very systematic and deliberate process towards a global cashless society - with implications for every person operating within today's monetary and financial systems."