Friday, February 27, 2009


I wondered if you could help us raise $10000. All I need you to do is vote for us on this website

It is super fast and easy – quicker than reading this e-mail.

A lovely chap in New Zealand is running a marathon in May and donating $10000 to charity! He has listed his four favorite charities on the following website and asked people to vote for the charity they want to get the money.

STOP THE TRAFFIK are listed as an option, we were doing so well but were overtaken in the last 24 hours by 400 votes. In the last 10 minutes 500 people have voted for us! We’re back in the lead but have 48 hours before the pole closes and need to keep ourselves there.

It is with a fast beating competitive heart that I ask you to vote!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The death of sin

I asked my son what he knew about love yesterday and he said, 'love destroys death'. Nice. Ash Wednesday is the evidence and recognition that love destroys death... people wear the ashes as a symbol of repentance and forgiveness and of ownership - we serve a new master now. Jesus through his perfect love made a way out of our selfish condition... and we can live. So we repent, we mourn the sacrificial death of Christ all the while we are celebrating... all our actions are in light of the cross... all the remembering is done knowing deep down that love destroys death. So, my son will celebrate Ash Wednesday today at his catholic school - and so will I. I will celebrate knowing that my sins are forgiven, that love has saved the day - that repentance is really a surrender to the ownership of God. And although it is a day of mourning, I will still rejoice because I know a bit about love too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

on leadership, chocolate and community

Headed out this morning to do the intro on leadership at the salvo training college... and yesterday was a full day... started with some partnering with St. Martin's Church (in the morning) - punctuated with thoughts and prayers and bells of the national day of mourning and the memorial service... then off to the sustainability living festival where labour abuses and exploitation are linked to human trafficking and the largest, illegal slavery known to humanity. A great presentation of Fair trade as an alternative way to buy CHOCOLATE, coffee and tea. Salvationists should be leading the way in living another day.
Tim Costello had a great take on going to a shopping centre as a spiritual experience (a fake and empty one)... I buy that.
Then in the early evening I joined a bunch of brand new collingwood salvos in SWAT (spiritual worship and training). Saw people getting discipled, engaged in worship, and involved in authentic Christian community - it's a beautiful thing that the Lord does in people, families and communities... I'm really in love with His strategy.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Unified in mission

I can't help but be amazed as I see The Salvation Army's response to the tragic bush-fires in Victoria that have claimed 200 lives and thousands of homes and displaced several thousand people last week.
Some estimates of the fire's speed was 124km and some estimates of the radiant heat before the fire was 1000 degrees. I met a few guys who said they watched (from a distance) the axles on their vehicles melt. It has been an incredible witness of a destructive power. And at the same time, in the midst of pain and tragedy there has emerged a generosity and fierce goodness that has responded with an abundance of love and grace. It's incredible.
The Salvation Army itself has already given well over a million dollars out to thousands of families to help them get started in the necessary preparations of rebuilding, restoring and renewing. Not to mention the thousands of firefighters we've fed and the resources we've also given - petrol cards, Kmart vouchers and goods that have been donated.
Everyone has pitched in - bureaucracy has been suspended for the urgency of the day - inter-departmental sharing of resources and personnel has not been the exception - it's been the norm.
I'm thinking it's an amazing thing when we are unified in mission.
This is the learning curve for me - this event is so clearly an emergency that everyone has put the bush-fire mission ahead of their own agendas. We understand that peacetime rules don't apply in this situation. Even our own schedules have been pushed aside - no unnecessary meetings - no long coffees or chats... we have an important work to do right now.
It got me thinking about the 2000 young people that sleep homeless every night in Australia - or about the tens of thousands foster kids without a decent home OR about the Asylum seekers who have fled similar disasters (or worse) and have been left to fend for themselves... human-trafficking survivors and those still suffering - I was thinking perhaps we could declare some other emergencies - organize ourselves so we are fixed and unified in mission and do it again.
If we responded to youth homelessness like we have the bush fires - we may just be able to end it! I really believe that.
It strikes me that we've all been learning from these fires. Learning about the frailty of life and things, the power of community - the gift of love - the excess of our normal lives and how impacting it is when we are unified in mission.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just Speaking PODCAST 2

An interview/update about the Victorian Bush Fire relief campaign with Major David Eldridge from The Salvation Army Austrlian Southern Territory.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

outpouring of grace and generosity

The fight is still on to put out the fires and minimize the damage done... The Salvos are out in full force in 12 different locations offering everything they can from provisions to financial help to spiritual comfort... truly God is with us in the outpouring of grace and generosity in these times... the expressions of kindness and empathy - the reminder of the frailty of life... a time to mourn. And a time to remember and be grateful for all that remains. Take some time today to pray for us and to be grateful for all the things we so easily take for granted...

Here is the latest news report from CNN:

The toll from Saturday's inferno has grown day by day. Police in the state of Victoria put the number of deaths from the fires at 181 on Tuesday. Watch the devastation brought to homes »

"We think there will be more deaths," Police Chief Christine Nixon said. "It's a major issue ... that we're finding more bodies as we gain access to locations." Photos: Bushfires leave path of destruction »

But there was hope.

"We don't muck around in this country. It will be back to the same in 18 months," said Ash Phelin, a volunteer worker helping displaced families. "It might not look the same. It'll be a bit burnt. But it'll be back."

The scope and scale of the fire brought Monique Locklier to help her bush mates."Its up the road from where we live," she said. "It's the worst tragedy we've ever seen and I hope we never see it again." 'Thank God we were spared'

Charitable contributions continued to pour into the Salvation Army as Australians were touched by the crisis.

"We're in the midst of this huge financial crisis and people want to give," Maj. Rodney Barnard said. "The Salvation Army has been running an appeal and we've raised in excess of $2 million (Australian)."

The need for humanitarian aid is expected to be great, with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd laying out the costs of the fires before Parliament.

In addition to those killed, more than 500 people were injured, nearly 1,000 homes were destroyed, thousands were left homeless and 365,000 hectares (901,935 acres) of the Australian countryside have been burnt black, he said.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

PRAY for the end of the fires in Victoria.

Horror fire toll hits 84
8:25pm | Staff reporters
UPDATE 10:07pm: THE death toll in Australia's worst ever bushfires has hit 84, with TV veteran Brian Naylor among the dead.

THE SALVATION ARMY is on the scene trying to fight against the damaging fire and offer relief, hope and some good news. Please pray for the victims and families, communities effected and for energy, volunteers, financial provision and spiritual power for those engaged on the front lines at this time.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Justice Decree Wordle

Click below to see the Justice Decree (featured on Journal Of Aggressive Christianity's new issue):
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JUST Salvos introduces a new PODCAST - hear a commentary on the new movie Revolutionary Road.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The LONG walk

last night our cell group was discussing Phillippians where Paul talks about STANDING firm. And this morning I was reflecting on the reality of the fight for justice. I remembered some of the discussion I had with the young people who were part of our slavechain silent demonstration to stop the traffik in Melbourne a few weeks ago. Basically, the walk was long, hard and hot... at the very end (or near to it) people were at their lowest in energy and in passion. I was walking near the end of the line and kept encouraging stragglers who were finding it hard to finish. And it struck me as a great image of the fight for justice in the world. The beginning part (definately the rhetoric bit) is easy... and fun, and energetic and exciting... it's the mundane details in between and afterwards that are difficult to navigate.
Now, if you study social reformers and campaigns that have had a lasting impact on the shape of the world - you will start to see that one secret to world changing behaviour is perseverance, longevity and a basic STANDING firm despite opposition, ignorance and passive indifference. To really change the world is a long walk to freedom - which also happens to be the title of Nelson Mandela's autobiography... 27 years in a political prison before he was released like a calf from a stall... it's worth a read... the transatlantic slave-trade was abolished after a LIFETIME of campaigning and legislation, civil-rights in america - again a whole life-time... and many, many more fights on local fronts that have been going on for generations.
My ability to tire after only a few months or a few years is matched by God's ability to never grow tired or weary of doing what is right and His hunger for righteousness and justice on the earth. I've decided I'm in this fight for life. It's not a passing phase. His Spirit helping me I'm determined to press on. Now, to the work...

Monday, February 2, 2009

Now Time

One of my favourite thoughts of God (made popular by Paul Tillich) is 'the eternal now'. I remember the day it began to blow my mind that God was never in the future or in the past but in the present (ALL OF THE TIME)... 'I AM' is how he first describes Himself to Moses. it's also the language of The Kingdom of God, 'now is the time' 'today is the day' etc..
Being in the present is not only a discipline worth cultivating but it's also imitating God. Today I was thinking about things past and things future and the Lord reminded me to get present. Today is the day. Spend it all now. Do the thing in front of you today. Live in the moment and the fullness of God's eternal NOW. I'm giving it a go.