Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Women Are Worth More

Some good news in Western Australian, where a bill to decriminalise brothels has been delayed in the Lower House, which is now in recess for two weeks.

The delays have drawn the ire of some sex workers (click here to see article in yesterday’s The Australian ) but mean there is more time to campaign against the legislation. Please click here and send off an email to voice your opposition to the legislation. More than 1200 emails have now been sent to WA politicians as part of this campaign.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

we are not bound...

“You are not bound by any stereotyped or antiquated notions. What is being done in Europe or America, or what has been done in India, or what is being done at present need not be any rule to you, unless you can see it calculated to gain the end you have in view.

Go, my comrades, and pray, and look about you, and thus acquaint yourselves with local modes of thought and feeling and action, and then adapt yourselves to them, so far as adaption shall be consistent with the doctrines of the Bible and the principles of The Salvation Army.

William Booth

Monday, October 29, 2007

New Australian Website for Federal Election

The Salvation Army in Australia has published some Federal Election Statements... these have been given to all the parties and government reps in the nation to let them know what we think are the keys to good governing in the future... all six recommendations are for the 'poor and marginalized' who often get left out at election time. CHECK THEM OUT AT JUSTSALVOS.COM (or your local Corps in AUS).

To accompany that effort - discussion guides have gone to every SA Corps and Centre in the nation to help Salvos critically think through why and how they vote.
How often do people vote for themselves... our hope is that by helping inform Salvos of the social imbalance in Australia (1 in 10 live below the poverty line) they will rise up to consider the plight of others and not just their own tax breaks this year.

Here's another guide that can help aid your voting:

With four weeks to go until the federal election, the ACL today launched a website that will inform hundreds of thousands of Christians throughout Australia – including many in marginal seats – about the different political party standpoints on key issues you care about.

The parties have taken a lot of time to answer our questions carefully and specifically in the midst of a very busy election campaign. Unfortunately, the Greens declined to respond to the questions.

The website provides the responses of six political parties, including the Coalition and Labor, to 25 questions of interest to Christians ranging from homelessness and refugees to family life and abortion. All responses are in the parties' own words, without any comment or alteration by ACL.

The website includes:

responses from the parties to ACL's questions on key topic areas;
information on how MPs and Senators voted in the two recent conscience votes on the abortion drug RU486 and on cloning;
an election resources page where you can download DVDs explaining the voting system, watch the 'Make it Count' webcast speeches by the PM and Opposition Leader, and visit other sites offering comment on this election;
details of our upcoming Meet Your Candidates Forums, which will be added to the website as they are finalised. Please keep checking the site over the coming weeks.

We hope this site will assist you personally, but we also encourage you to pass the link on to all your friends and, importantly, to ask your church leader to send it out on your church email list.

We have provided a powerpoint slide promoting the site which your church might wish to consider showing on Sunday. You can assure your church leaders that is completely non party partisan and is a valuable service that the church can make others aware of as Christians consider their vote at this important time.

Please visit the site and recommend it to your friends and to your church.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fully Alive

Not sure if I mentioned It's online now.. you'll want to check it out!
Also, had a great time today in prayer for trafficked victims... I was reminded by God of His great concern for each of us. He made us in His image... every one of us - and somehow it offered me some assurance that His care was so intricate and personal... I can't imagine His suffering over the millions of his children in bondage right now. Two of my favourite saints (St. Francis and Mother Theresa) prayed to exerience the depth of Jesus' suffering (inspired by Paul to KNOW Him in His suffering)... God answered both of them in some painful ways - and yet both exuded His presence and joy... perhaps I'm still to immature to understand the implications but I'm not quite there yet... I am thankful that I can feel - there was a time I was stuck on 'happy' but it was an artificial emotion - God finally broke in and revealed the depth of His heart to me and gave me the revelation that to be alive means to FEEL all different kinds of emotion... then being sad took on new meaning - anger new energy - and joy new levels. Perhaps that early church father was on to something when he said, 'the glory of God is man fully alive'.
Anyway, I'm beliving that our Father wants His children FREE - all of them. God grant it.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

BRAND NEW BLOG - check it out!

JUSTSALVOS National is an Australian blog of social justice types blogging some meaty stuff!
Check it out at:

This blog will also be a feature on (going live today!!). Check it out.


Bono says that he agreed to champion the Jubilee Campaign because he'd at last found in it a strategic outworking for his unbridled idealism. "Nothing is worse," he says, "than a bleeding heart without a plan." Too many of us are at postgraduate level in conversational Christianity and theoretical theology, with no heart-intention of actually doing the stuff we discuss. We talk endlessly about justice, mission, prayer, echatology or shapes of church, but we simply don't know where to start when it comes to actually doing anything to make a difference. An effective idealist is someone who dares to turn ideas into lists - she may have an impossible dream, but she also has a next step that is entirely possible. (page 98)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

JustSalvos update

If you are around canada in March - you will not want to miss RAW in the dtes of Vancouver.
Here is the postcard - check it out... a must GO forsure.

If you haven't joined in the fun down under - get ready!
JUSTLose wants to reach 100 teams.... lots of room - join today (
Also, FREEDOM FRIDAYS is now ON in Australia... if you want to join the JUSTPray community by fasting and praying every Friday at noon for the victims of human trafficking join in - email and write Freedom Fridays in the subject line - we'll email you a prayer directive every second week to help you pray!

The FAIRTRADE PRINCIPLE has now been adopted by The Salvation Army Southern Territory - have you tried out Fairtrade coffee/tea and chocolate (to start)? I've got a great wholesale connection and will have start-up kits for every Corps and Centre in the Territory ready by Connections. So, faze out your old unjust supplies and get ready to restock with mouth watering JUSTICE! For even more information on fairtrade check out:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Stir Your World 2007

COME ON! Why not register a JUSTLose team at TODAY! Stir. Stir. Stir.

Look for God

Saw this quote on the bottom of a friend's email and loved it (ht:rl)!
"Look for God. Look for God like a man with his head on fire looks for water."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Stop The Traffik - Home Delivery

let's stop the traffik!
you can help now:
join Freedom Fridays (prayer and fasting Fridays at noon) email

Have you started JUSTLose?
go to to get started... don't wait - help change the world.

Australia's Federal Election

Stay tuned for the Australian SA Election guides (things to think about before you vote - coming very soon to your Corps/Community). Also, news from the ACL (Australia Christian Lobby) Federal election 2007:
Bringing a Christian influence to bear

The official Federal election campaign got underway this week with the Liberal/Nationals Coalition clawing back some ground in the polls but with Labor still in an election-winning position.

ACL is non-party partisan and it is our aim to help Christians cast a vote for the candidate of their choice who best reflects Christian values. It is vital that, as a constituency, we engage in the election campaign and take a close interest in who will represent us in the next Federal Parliament.

A great way to do this is to attend an ACL Meet Your Candidates Forum. These will roll out across about 50 electorates and details will be available soon.

Another key strategy to assist Christians will be the launch next week of an exciting interactive website containing the parties’ responses to 25 key questions of Christian concern. The parties have provided us with 250-word answers to each question. The issues range from poverty, refugees and climate change to abortion, family issues and sexual exploitation.

While not yet launched, this initiative has attracted media interest from The Australian, The Bulletin, the ABC’s 7:30 Report and the Australian Financial Review. Look out for the launch next week and for more details in next Friday’s ACL e-news.

While on the topic of the election, John Howard and Kevin Rudd will participate in a special election debate this Sunday night at 7.30 pm at Parliament House, which will be broadcast by Sky News, the ABC and the Nine Network. This provides a further opportunity to learn more about the two leaders views and policies so that you can make an informed vote.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Fantastic new IHQ position on prostitution laws and trafficking

"Prostitution Laws and Trafficking

The Salvation Army does not have a formal positional statement on prostitution laws. However, in recent months I have taken the opportunity to discuss the matter with a number of people, and to read around the subject. We are asked from time to time where we stand on this important issue.

A summary of the views hitherto taken, approved by the General, October 2007, is as follows:

'The Salvation Army believes that women and men in prostitution should not be seen as criminal offenders by virtue of their activities in the sex trade industry. Many are drawn into prostitution by reason of poverty, ignorance or coercion. However, The Salvation Army does not wish to see prostitution treated or regarded as a normative or acceptable practice, or as a socially or morally legitimate career choice by any person. Legalisation of the sex trade unintentionally but inevitably creates a social climate in which those engaged in human trafficking can expand their industry, making it difficult for the police to intervene, even though advocates for legalisation claim that licensing gives more safety and protection. The Salvation Army has not campaigned publicly on the issue of prostitution laws because it wishes to maintain its position of trust with persons, especially women, in prostitution. However, the Army takes a stance against decriminalisation of any commercial exploitation of women or men for sexual purposes. The Army also supports measures to criminalise the activities of clients in the sex trade industry.'

This information will be posted on the Anti-trafficking Task Force LN Database, which is now run by Commissioner Christine Macmillan.

Commissioner Helen Clifton
World President of Women's Ministries"
a great article about the failed legalisation of prostitution in Australia here:

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dreaming at Anti-Poverty Forum...

The Salvation Army sponsored an anti-poverty forum today.
Leaders in the field spoke powerfully on behalf of the 10% of Australians left out of the 'dream' and subject to poverty - and it's horrible results.
David Eldridge delivered it well - poverty is not God's idea... indeed, it can and should be eradicated. He spoke about our need to realise that it's in our power to end it. Homelessness and poverty can be finished.
I agree with him. As a matter of fact on yesterday at the Melbourne Central Division officer's day we spoke of widening our dreams... re-imagining the world as God would want it. And then posturing ourselves to live the dream.
We broke open Commissioner Knaggs dream for the SA in Australia and began to imagine what they would look like in real life... how do we put legs (strategies) on the body of a dream... we walk it out. Jesus was the legs on the body of God's redemption dream.
The question begs to be asked: are you living the dream?

Monday, October 15, 2007

Pray For Burma

The National Council of Churches in Australia is writing to request your support for and promotion of a national day of prayer for Burma on Sunday, October 21.

The images of tens of thousands of Burmese monks, nuns and civilians marching in the cities of Burma, has highlighted the tragic situation facing millions of people in Burma today: brutal crackdowns on any opposition to the military regime, the forced labour of women and children, child slavery and extrajudicial killings.

The courageous leadership shown by the religious leaders of Burma is a call to us all in the international religious communities to stand with them in solidarity. As people of religion, this joining together to share in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Burma is a powerful act of showing solidarity.

We believe now is the time that Christians can come together to pray for change in Burma and to express our compassion and solidarity for those who live in a climate of fear. Now is the time for us to be the voice for the voiceless for those who have been repressed, incarcerated and silenced in Burma .

Below are some possible prayers that could be used or adapted for use by your churches on October 21. A range of events and interfaith initiatives are being proposed for later in the day. In Sydney , an interfaith gathering followed by a peace procession is being organi s ed to commence at Martin Place at 1:00pm.

It would be a strong message to have many people of faith who could participate in this interfaith gathering and procession to send a strong message to all governments that Australians are concerned about what is happening in Burma . We would greatly appreciate it if you could promote this event in your churches this coming Sunday October 14 .

Updated information about the interfaith gathering proposed in Sydney on October 21 as well as other initiatives planned around the country will be available on the NCCA website and Caritas Australia website . If you would like to put a link on your website it would be appreciated.

We would ask if you could encourage all your churches to participate in this national day of prayer for Burma .

Some Suggested Prayers for Burma:
We pray for peace and justice in Burma . We pray that the Burmese rulers may respect their people, and that the people may be given greatness of spirit in their struggle to live free from fear. We pray for a prosperous Burma in which all the people may live with dignity.

We pray for the Christians of Burma , that they may be faithful to their calling to represent their society with kindness and peace. We pray in thanks for the lives of the monks who have died and the courage of those who have been tortured for their faithfulness to the teaching. May their lives not be wasted but be the bricks out of which a new Burma is built.

We pray for the poor of Burma that they may find respect for their humanity. May they come to live in a nation that is governed for the good of all , where people of different cultures and languages can live as equal citizens of a shared land. May the present struggle lead to a free Burma .

We pray with those who struggle to build a better and more humane society in Burma . May they find strength to continue to live by their large hopes, and may our solidarity with them give them encouragement. We pray that the seed of freedom that has been watered with blood may spring green for all the people of Burma .

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Teenage affluenza is spreading fast.

A much watch! hattip Christy Jessop!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Above All Worship Video with Lyrics

Lord, help us to recognise your sovereign power!

Open Letter to AUS Elected Officials

In response to the immigration attitudes/limits from AUS government the letter below was drafted by Matthew Phillips
Refugee Working Group Coordinator
Darfur Australia Network (IT's A Great Letter!).

An open letter to our elected officials
We wish to offer our support to members of the various African communities across Australia.

We believe that decisions regarding Australia’s Refugee and Humanitarian Program should be determined on the basis of need for humanitarian assistance, rather than perceptions or assumptions about a group’s capacity to resettle or integrate.

We are concerned that the decision to halt consideration of further claims by African refugees for resettlement through the Humanitarian Program (for the current financial year) will threaten their chances for family reunion.

We urge all Australians, particularly our elected representatives, to stand up in support of African refugees who have resettled in Australia, to support their further resettlement and family reunification, and to strengthen services that make the transition to Australia easy.

We celebrate the positive contribution African refugees make to Australia – to our communities, our workplaces, our economy, our culture and our society.

We pay tribute to the many African Australians who contribute to the wider community voluntarily and professionally - as doctors, lawyers, teachers, nurses, carers, engineers, scientists, primary industry workers and in many other occupations.

We believe it is our responsibility to provide protection to refugees regardless of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, political opinion and despite limited previous access to education.
Since World War II, over 600,000 people from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa or the Americas have been granted refuge in Australia on the basis of humanitarian need. For over a decade, Australia has provided safe haven to thousands of refugees fleeing persecution and civil conflict in African countries such as Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Many have survived torture and trauma, yet have embraced their new home despite the many challenges that face them on arrival, including separation from family
and loved ones overseas.

We strongly believe that multiculturalism is vital to the health and wellbeing of our communities.
We are proud that Australia has the capacity and will to provide protection and a new home to people fleeing persecution.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Freedom Fridays

Sometimes for things like Sexual Human Trafficking we feel paralyzed. But as Christians we have something we can always 'do' even when we feel there is not much else.
We can pray.
There are over 50 people committed to fasting and praying every Friday at noon (that's not counting the Canadians who are already doing this) - just from one good meeting (as of Thursday last week)... I'm sure there are more. Every other week you will receive a prayer directive to help you pray. I believe that if we call upon the Lord - He will act on behalf of the victims of human trafficking. Anyone else want to join up to Freedom Fridays?
I've heard of young people praying at school during lunch on Fridays - women of all ages booking the Corps sanctuaries for fasting and prayer and countless other individuals who go without lunch to identify with the pain of victims and spend extra time on Fridays asking God for His intervention. Want to be counted among them? join up today at (type freedom fridays in the subject line and you are officially in!).
Let's pray and then believe God is going to expose, free, and bust open some darkness so light can pour in...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Live The Dream.

Extraordinaire Spiritual Leader Commissioner Jim Knaggs shared a vision from God - it's a KIngdom sized one... I'm thrilled to be in a place where I can help live it out... there is no perishing for lack of vision in this part of the world! Now, to live the life. Here it is: read it, pray it, live it...

The Salvation Army will in its entirety, be what God wants it to be…

…that every soldier, young and old would be sanctified through and through…and out of the passion of their love in Christ, would be an undeniable force for God’s love in the world.

…that this love would be seen between each soldier to demonstrate that God has sent His Son into the world not to condemn it, but that the world through Him might be saved…and by this would all people know that we are His followers and represent Him.

…that our love would be seen through intentional and overt acts of mercy and justice, all the while in humility before God, not needing to publish our works, only doing them to glorify God.

…that our mission would have such integrity that every expression of our ministry would be marked not so much by a red shield or even a crest, but by the love of God for people.

…that every corps would embrace the gospel for everyone in their community, not discriminating by culture, language, social status, or age…and that the helping ministries would be woven into the fabric so that even under a nuclear microscope we could not distinguish between spiritual and social.

…that every social programme would be inviting to any one in need to be helped towards eternal affect, still maintaining our resolve to dispense such love indiscriminately and unconditionally…and that their connections with the corps ministries become seamless to the point that they would become a type of corps in their own right.

…that we would have effective ministries to eradicate homelessness, human trafficking, prostitution and other indecencies currently common in our society.

…that our social programme strategy will be based upon the needs of people in the context of Biblical mandate, not necessarily the offerings of government contracts.

…that headquarters support units would be understood as such, not diminishing their purposes for accountability, but wholly in the context of authentic support and encouragement.

…that programmes such as Salvo Stores and Employment plus would also become saving stations for the lost and fully integrated into the mission of the territory.

…that Salvo Stores and the Trade become responsible outlets for Fair Trade goods.

…that our commercial department at THQ become a resource and focal point for facilitating our increasing efforts in Fair Trade.

…that the Family Tracing Service be expanded to find those souls who have been lost to the Army, assisting in bringing them home, where they belong.

…that we would never have another day in our existence where someone was not brought to Christ.

…that our soldiers roll would only be an increasing reality as would our worship and discipleship meetings.

…that the proliferation of new ministry openings would be so common and normal that we would have to appoint personnel just to keep track of it, most often after the fact.

…that those gifted with creative ministry gifts would have every opportunity to employ these very skills in the work of the Army.

…that our worship would be filled with creative means to celebrate God’s provisions and presence among us.

…that our 24/7 Prayer Initiatives will be adopted by individual corps throughout the territory all the time.

…that we would establish Lighthouses of Prayer to cover our neighbourhoods with grace.

…that we would have numerous prayer destinations where people could go for prayer retreats, learning opportunities and resources.

…that our systems would be less restrictive and more imaginative to accommodate the new things God wants to do among us.

…that as a movement, we would be marked by holiness in corporate and individual praxis.

…that there would be such an out pouring of the Spirit upon us that we would be courageous and effective witnesses in our families, communities, cities, Australia and the world.

…that our compassion would be large enough to be understood as authentically global throughout what we do at home and abroad.

…that our people would be quick to respond to the voice of God for whatever He calls them to.

…that our officer training programmes would be taxed by the unusual response of the called to serve as officers in TSA.

…that our local officers would be so empowered to understand their foundational role in the corps ministries and fully embrace the priesthood of all believers.

…that our women would have appointments and responsibilities commensurate with their gifts, abilities and experience.

…that our young people would be filled with the Spirit and recognised as contributors in the fight.

…that our children would be welcomed as authentic soldiers with proper opportunities to celebrate the presence of Christ in their lives and in their environments.

…that an extraordinary forgiveness and healing of past sins and hurts would prevail upon all people victimised by our practises or inattention.

…that God would see that we love Him supremely through Christ and that our reliance on the Holy Spirit completes His hope in us.

…that God would see that we love Him absolutely and are expressing our love for Him by our active love for others.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Australia Southern Territory goes FAIRTRADE

The Australian Southern Territory has officially announced that they are starting the Fairtrade journey by instituting a policy that all SA units will use fairtrade hot beverages.... it is a start to a long walk to equal distribution in the world - but what a powerful thing it will be. Stay tuned for more specific details - suffice to say - YEAH GOD!

Refugees and Australia...

In Countries (like Australia) with so much wealth and so much room - WOW! What can we do???
Write to your MP AND sponsor a refugee family (or at least get to know one!).

A freeze on the settlement of refugees from Africa - including those from Sudan's Darfur region - has been announced by the Australian government.
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews said the refugees had trouble integrating, and other parts of the world such as Iraq and Burma were greater priorities.
The freeze will last until mid-2008, and there are no guarantees that Africans will be admitted after then.
Critics say it is a pre-election pitch to immigration-wary voters.

Mr Andrews said refugees from Sudan and conflict-torn Darfur were having problems integrating into Australian communities, and that trouble spots closer to home should take priority.
To that end, Africans are being replaced in the humanitarian refugee programme by people fleeing Iraq and Burma.

'Xenophobic' jibe
Australia has accepted or is processing about 3,900 Africans this year - 30% of its total refugee intake.
Just two years ago they made up 70% of the total.
Critics have accused the government of a pre-election move to appeal to xenophobic voters, and they have also said it is absolutely wrong to argue that Africans are failing to integrate.
One community leader said they were making an immense contribution to the economy by taking jobs which many Australians simply did not want to do.

Certainly, there is a nativistic streak in parts of the Australian electorate.
In previous campaigns the Prime Minister John Howard government has benefited from concerns over immigration - especially in regional seats.
Only last year the town of Tamworth in New South Wales voted against hosting a trial refugee resettlement programme after the Sudanese were branded as criminals by the local mayor.
So fierce was the condemnation that the council was forced to reverse that decision.