Sunday, November 25, 2007

Goodbye

Well after 141 continuous days of posting as Lieutenant Dave it is time to say goodbye. This morning after serving as a Lieutenant for the last 5 years I was ordained and commissioned as a Captain in The Salvation Army. So after much thought and prayer I have decided to launch my new blog as Captain Collo.
Thanks for all of you that have read my blogs faithfully and for the honest feedback you give and I hope you will continue to visit my new site regularly at http://captaincollo.blogspot.com/

Just a thought.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Silver Star

a Jesus thought...
The man replied, "This is amazing! You claim to know nothing about him, but the fact is, he opened my eyes! It's well known that God isn't at the beck and call of sinners, but listens carefully to anyone who lives in reverence and does his will. That someone opened the eyes of a man born blind has never been heard of—ever. If this man didn't come from God, he wouldn't be able to do anything." (John 9:30-33)

a Godly thought...
Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. (p50 Bonhoeffer)

a leading thought...
We can dream, plan, hope, even pray; but without the grit and discipline of persistence, our lives will be nothing more than empty wishes. (p56 Newman)

a Dave thought...
Yesterday at "the Fellowship of the Silver Star" lunch Kylie and I were able to acknowledge and thank our parents for the example and encouragement they have been in our own lives. As we both have officer parents of 30+ years service they have helped us have a positive experience as officers kids, and therefore we are also optimistic about our family entering this new phase of our lives.
I pray that we too will bring Noah and Josiah up in a positive environment which acknowledges what God is doing in our lives and looks for the best in the movement that we serve. One mark of a positive leader for me is someone who inspires and encourages those that come behind them to serve in the same organisation with more passion than those before them. So we thank God for our parents and trust Noah & Josiah will be equally thankful for us one day.

Just a thought.

Friday, November 23, 2007

B COOL

a Jesus thought...
Jesus said, "You're tied down to the mundane; I'm in touch with what is beyond your horizons. You live in terms of what you see and touch. I'm living on other terms. I told you that you were missing God in all this. You're at a dead end. If you won't believe I am who I say I am, you're at the dead end of sins. You're missing God in your lives." (John 8:23-24)

a Godly thought...
Cheap grace is the deadly enemy of our Church. Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. (p37 Bonhoeffer)

a leading thought...
Nothing great was ever achieved without self-discipline. (p52 Newman)

a Dave thought...
Last night at our Valedictory service the Training Principal, Major Frank Daniels gave us an address from The Rule of St Benedict (6th century) - a book of precepts written for monks living in community under the authority of an abbot. His five points were given from an officer of 40 years service to help us on the new journey that lies ahead.



1. Balance - maintain a healthy lifestyle Prayer, Study, Work & Rest
2. Commitment - remain steadfast and strong to the covenants you have signed
3. Obedience - always do what God is asking
4. Open to change - let God continue to renew you through His Spirit
5. Listen - to God, others & yourself

It is important that we take key messages like this with us in our lives. So for me acronyms are often helpful for remembering important points, even though they apparently went out in the nineties!

But for me last night I will remember to B COOL as I enter into commissioned officership and hope to live this wisdom out in the next 28 years of my service.

Just a thought.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Covenant Day

a Jesus thought...
So why are you upset with me because I made a man's whole body well on the Sabbath? Don't be nitpickers; use your head—and heart!—to discern what is right, to test what is authentically right." (John 7:24)

a Godly thought...
When the bible speaks of following Jesus, it is proclaiming a discipleship which will liberate mankind from all man-made dogmas, from every burden and oppression, from every anxiety and torture which afflicts the conscience. (p31 Bonhoeffer)

a leading thought...
The only difference between being a dreamer and a goalsetter is adding a deadline to the dream. (p37 Newman)

a Dave thought...

CALLED BY GOD
to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as an officer of The Salvation Army
I BIND MYSELF TO HIM IN THIS SOLEMN COVENANT
to love,trust and serve him supremely all my days,
to live to win souls and make their salvation the first purpose of my life,
to care for the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, love the unlovable, and befriend those who have no friends,
to maintain the doctrines and principles of The Salvation Army, and, by God's grace to prove myself a worthy officer.
Done in the strength of my Lord and Saviour

This is the officers covenant which Kylie and I signed yesterday. The table we signed our covenants on is over 100 years old and is actually the same table our parents Wes & Glenyce Collinson and Ian & Marilyn Hamilton also signed on in the 60's & 70's. It was a really significant day and to sign my third life long covenant after soldiership (1984) and marriage (1993) is one I will never forget.
The covenant is personal, challenging and between God and myself, and with Him helping me is one I desire to keep throughout my life.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Red Frogs

a Jesus thought...
"Don't waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last." (John 6:27)

a Godly thought...
Bonhoeffer was firmly and rightly convinced that it is not only a Christian right but a Christian duty towards God to oppose tyranny, that is, a government which is no longer based on natural law and the law of God. (p24)

a leading thought...
Opportunities never come to those who wait, they are captured by those who dare to attack. (p36 Newman)

a Dave thought... http://blogs.news.com.au/couriermail/redfrog/
You get a few quizzical looks when you tell people that you are spending a week volunteering at Schoolies.
Let’s face it - “Schoolies” has a certain reputation. And Schoolies on the Gold Coast - well it’s the whole reason that reputation exists. A lot of people would rather stay away from the Gold Coast and not have to risk an encounter with any of the 35,000 freshly graduated Grade 12 students ready to party. However, did you realise there are hundreds of people who, right now, are preparing to give up sleep, give up a week of their time and give up their own schedules to provide support, care and a listening ear to young people testing their freedom.
These volunteers will see and hear a lot. They provide a service that is truly valued by the young people they support. Many parents sleep a little easier knowing someone is looking out for their kids. And the free lollies and pancake breakfasts that are synonymous with the volunteers never go astray!
It’s no doubt Schoolies is slowly changing each year. It has certainly become more organised, and commercialised. The security is stricter than ever this year, with large sections of the beach fenced off each night so that only registered schoolies, and workers, can access the areas. This is to prevent Toolies (older people who prey on Schoolies) from accessing the entertainment areas. It’s all designed to minimise risk, keep people safe and ensure tighter controls.
All of this is noble, but I’m curious. I have to wonder how long Schoolies will continue to hold its appeal as the spontaneous nature of the tradition ebbs. Too many rules, and it’s going to be - well - just like school. How long will those who are celebrating their new freedom be happy to do so from behind a fence?
Today is covenant day for 29 of us (Cadets & Lieutenants) who are being commissioned this Sunday. While we will be reflecting, praying and signing a life long covenant there is an incredibly contrasting event happening on the Gold Coast with 35,000 teens. Some decisions these young people will make this week in regards to violence, drug & alcohol consumption and even their virginity will also scar many of them for life.
Please pray for Paul Mergard and the 39 Salvos up there in the Red Frog team who are helping the school leavers have a week worth remembering for the right reasons.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Lieutenancy

a Jesus thought... will now be from The Message
"I'm not interested in crowd approval. And do you know why? Because I know you and your crowds. I know that love, especially God's love, is not on your working agenda. I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me. If another came, acting self-important, you would welcome him with open arms. How do you expect to get anywhere with God when you spend all your time jockeying for position with each other, ranking your rivals and ignoring God? (John 5:41-44)

a Godly thought... now from The Cost of Discipleship by Bonhoeffer
Christianity was not the concern of the believing, pious soul who shuts himself up and keeps himself within the bounds of the sacramental sphere. No, Christianity has its place in this world and the Church as the Body of Christ, and the fellowship in him can only be the visible Church. (p19 Bonhoeffer)

a leading thought... now from The ten laws of Leadership by Bill Newman
A leader is one that has the courage to dream, the ability to organise, and the strength to execute the action necessary. (p19 Newman)

a Dave thought...
News is out via the IHQ website that March 1 will conclude the rank of Lieutenant as we know it today.
We currently have 72 Lieutenants in this territory. As this is 12% of officers in the AST there will be a lot of conversations and questions between now and then. As 16 of us are currently being commissioned this Sunday there are still 56 others which I hope will make it through this transition time.
Over the last 6 years in our territory Lieutenancy has averaged an entry every month which exceeds the number of cadets for the same period.
As the General has decided to make this rank for commissioned officers once again and only to be used after training I pray that this will not block a very successful path into full time ministry.
I know today if it was not for the opportunity to serve locally as a Lieutenant I would not be becoming a Captain on Sunday.

Just a thought.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Roman Ezekiel

a Jesus thought...
Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." (John 4:21-24)

a Godly thought...
God certainly is "our glorious one, who lifts up our heads." (p108 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Improving knowledge worker productivity is the most important task of the century. Yet we have few measures or management interventions to make such improvement possible. Most organizations simply hire smart people, and leave them alone. (Tom Davenport)

a Dave thought...
Last night I had the privilege to conduct the dedication of Roman Ezekiel Young at the 6pm service at Box Hill. As part of the ceremony I read the following words...

I remind you that you are not just witnesses to this ceremony, but participants in it. Acknowledging this, will you encourage and support Nath and Sharon as they endeavour to nurture Roman in the ways and teachings of Jesus Christ?
In your personal contacts with Roman, will you establish a relationship that is based on love, acceptance, understanding, encouragement, forgiveness and kindness?
As you entered church today you were given a photo of Roman. Nath and Sharon would like you to take this photo and put it somewhere you may see it from time to time (Bible, glove box, under the kitchen sink!) and when you do see it, say a prayer for Roman.

It is great that as part of the dedication that we ask the church as a whole to support the family and the child. It was an especially nice touch last night that Nath & sharon handed out photos so we could all feel even more connected to this beautiful boy.

Just a thought.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I made it!

Well I completed my second half ironman in 6 hours and 14 minutes. I'd like to expand more but I'm wrecked so I'm going to bed. Goodnight!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Half Ironman Dream

a Jesus thought...
"The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33The man who has accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God[k] gives the Spirit without limit. 35The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:31-35)

a Godly thought...
Godly character is shaped by Godly thoughts

a leading thought...
"If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good." — Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

a Dave thought...
Today I am heading up to Shepparton where it is currently forecast to be 33 degrees with 80% humidity. It is in this town in 22 hours where I will be starting my second Half Ironman which comprises of a 1.9km swim, 90.1km bike ride and 21.1km run. Last time I did this event it took me 6 hours and 49 minutes so my goal is to beat this time. Yes there is a certain amount of stupidity that comes with people who pursue such ridiculous events but I love the challenge and in a strange sort of way am looking forward to the day.

Like many visions we have for our lives I have had to sacrifice, plan and train for the last 6 months and now all I can do is rely on the hard work I've put in and enjoy the experience. Anyway I better head off for Shep and I'll fill you in when I post tomorrow night on the events of the day.

Just a thought.

Friday, November 16, 2007

ESTJ Worship

a Jesus thought...
13When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!" (John 2:13-16)

a Godly thought...
I wondered if we in the church have sent people packing in the name of cold, clinical holiness. (p100 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Sooner or later a leader wakes up and realizes that he can never meet everyone's expectations and that he must quit worrying about what other people think. (p171 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
Many that have worked alongside me know my fascination with Myers-Briggs personality profiles. For those that are unfamiliar there are four pairs of preferences or dichotomies:

Extraversion/Introversion
Sensing/iNtuition
Thinking/Feeling
Judging/Perceiving

The test was developed in 1942 to help women discover where they were best suited to enter the work place. The E/I is about attitude, S/N & T/F are about function and the J/P is about lifestyle. I personally am an ESTJ and continue to discover that I can now normally pick another in a work situation, I have also discovered that it helps immensely in getting teams to understand the ways we all operate.
Lately I have been thinking about how each of the personality types would prefer a worship service, and although this is a selfish way to look at church it is often an accurate way to find what people are looking for.
So what about an ESTJ worship service, what would it look like? It would be well structured, be visually appealing, economical with time, deep teaching, held in a practical well-maintained space and of course excellent coffee for interaction with others. So am I fussy? Yeah probably but then again I'm sure JC himself was an ESTJ so let's put a service together that would please him:)

Just a thought.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Obesity

a Jesus thought...
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only,[d] who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:14)

a Godly thought...
Let’s work harder at developing an informed, biblically-rounded faith. Let’s read our Bibles more; pray for discernment; use the brains God gave us; think of others before ourselves; let God be God. (p97 Lucas)

a leading thought...
No matter what we may at one time have hoped and dreamed we would become, what we are now is most likely what we will be to the end. (p169 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
Australia is now one of the fattest nations in the developed world, according to a new international report which singles out the country's sky-rocketing obesity rate. A report released by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development shows Australia performing well on smoking rates and survival from breast cancer and heart attacks compared with the other 29 OECD nations. But it was one of the worst performers on obesity, thanks to new statistics showing almost one in every four Australians now has a body mass index (BMI) over 30. Australia had the fifth highest adult obesity rate, 21.7 per cent, behind the US, 32.2 per cent, Mexico, 30.2 per cent, the UK, 23 per cent, and Greece, 21.9 per cent.Australians are gaining weight even faster than people in the US, a notoriously fat nation.``Using consistent measures of obesity over time, the rate of obesity has more than doubled over the past 20 years in the United States, while it has almost tripled in Australia,'' states the report, Health at a Glance 2007.
What does this report say about the Australian culture today? We have one of the best climates for exercise and have more parks and footpaths than most other countries yet we have the fastest growing obesity rate in the world. I write this as I am part of Justlose (justsalvos.com) and have managed to drop a few kilos over the last month. But it hasn’t been easy, it does take discipline to eat the right foods and to plan time to do regular exercise. There is no doubt we have been educated about this but as we watch more TV, eat out more, and drive our vehicles more than ever before, sadly I don’t think us Aussies will improve. The choice is ours to take on a disciplined lifestyle and be proactive everyday otherwise watch out US we are going to surpass you once again.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Blogs

a Jesus thought...
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24:46-49)

a Godly thought...
We must be ready to be a faithful tour guide for to their potentially bewildering excursion around Planet Church. (p94 Lucas)

a leading thought...
True leadership always exacts a heavy toll on the whole man, and the more effective the leadership is, the higher the price to be paid. (p164 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
I am very thankful for the work all our divisional youth teams do around the territory. As we attempt to celebrate the great ministry that is continually being done we have this week launched a DY's blog. You can check it out by clicking on the heading “2Love blog” on my side bar. As the DY's share their stories and discoveries it will help us all know what is going on around the territory in youth work.
It is often through sharing and writing our thoughts that you realise how much you have learnt or grown through an experience in your life. I have had many speak to me about why I blog every single morning and asking me if anyone is reading it. I say regardless of the 50-80 readers I have a day it certainly helps me to reflect on my reading and observations and to take them from head to the screen with some clarity. Why not try some journaling yourself and if you are happy to share your thoughts start a blog and if no one reads it, at worst I guarantee you will grow through the experience.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Officership

a Jesus thought...
The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." (Luke 23:47)

a Godly thought...
We will be called to account for the way that we’ve used or abused the gift of speech: “But I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken” (Matt 12:36) - Lucas

a leading thought...
We need to allow younger generations coming into our churches and organisations to colour outside the lines we have drawn – to have their own chance to put their mark on the ministries God has given us. (p159 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
Today I ventured into the Training College and under the teaching of the TP Major Frank Daniels we reflected on the ‘undertakings of Officership’. As we looked and discussed the 14 points to this document, it once again confirmed the unconditional commitment so many officers have signed over the years. This document explains the relationship between The Salvation Army and the officer and includes points such as a willingness to undertake appointments as requested and to not earn any additional income or take on extra work as our sole commitment should be to God & the organisation.
It is now 12 days till Kylie and myself will be commissioned as Captains and although the changes will be minimum to begin with we are now entrusting our lives and ministry fully to God through the Salvos. With signing this covenant we are now willing to take new appointments in new places and the future is unknown. What we do know however is that in the 28 years ahead we have to serve that God will be with us and whatever happens and wherever we are appointed we will do our best to serve Him to the best of our abilities.

Just a thought.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Crackberry

a Jesus thought...
But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. (Luke 22:26-28)

a Godly thought...
The church is not a trophy case crammed with nice, together people. It's a place where those tragically dubbed as misfits can find that they fit, where odd types can belong and believe. (p83 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Ideas are the currency of the future. This intellectual capital-innovation, imagination, and creativity-must be valued and sought at all costs. (p153 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
THE number of Australian BlackBerry users is expected to double in the next year and experts say the craze will lead to poorer family life and less personal satisfaction.
The multifunctional business tool is already referred to by some as a "CrackBerry" for its addictive qualities.
An organisational psychologist and Griffith University senior lecturer, Paula Brough, said that by making people always accessible, there was a detrimental effect on work-family balance.
"I think it's a serious concern," Dr Brough said. "There has been so much research demonstrating how technology has totally blurred the boundaries between work and home life. People find they can't switch off the work demands at all.
"It can be managers or supervisors expecting 24-hour access to their employees, which is the worst type. Instead of taking your children to the beach or to the movies, you've always got your BlackBerry with you. You can't turn it off."

I must admit I do have an addiction, as an avid Blackberry user I am constantly attending to a little machine that spends most of its time in my pocket or in my hands. I love the convenience and the freedom to access Internet & email 24/7 wherever I am located, I also love to network, dream and connect with people outside of the office so this allows me to do that while still being in contact with my team.
But does it effect my family life? Yes if I am honest it is addictive and as I like to stay on top of my inbox and pass on information as quick as possible it constantly grabs my attention. But ministry is unending and there is always something to respond to, so this is dangerous. So like all addictions it is up to the user to really want to break the habit, for true freedom to occur. Maybe if the habit gets any worse I need to look at booking into a Blackberry detox centre? What I do do know however is that somehow Jesus managed to get a lot done while on this earth and to the best of my knowledge didn't own a Blackberry so there is an alternative way, but then again he always knew the 5 day forecast, so maybe he did have one.
Just a thought.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

World Youth Convention

a Jesus thought...
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. "I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." (Luke 21:1-4)

a Godly thought...
I’m praying that God will help me to respond rather than react when others irritate and wound me, and to keep my mouth shut. (p79 Lucas)

a leading thought...
The two most important words in a leader’s vocabulary are listen and learn. (p141 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
The General is pleased to announced his decision that a World Youth Convention will be held in Sweden during 2010. The date, location and other details will be announced in due course. In connection with this youth-focused global event, the General has appointed Colonel Birgitte Brekke as World Youth Convention Organizer, effective 14 January 2008. Colonel Brekke's rich international Salvation Army service renders her eminently suited to the planning and preparation for this significant event.
In a world that moves so fast it hard for us all to imagine where we will be in 3 years time. Young people are especially transient and pursue several courses of study and occupations in just a handful of years. But the convention is a great initiative by our General and if I can be there I will. As the youth will shape the future of The Salvation Army in the years to some we might as well gather them together and be proactive about the direction we are heading. So do your best to get there or else help someone else make the journey to SAWYC in Sweden 2010.

Just a thought.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Commitment

a Jesus thought...
While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46"Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47They devour widows' houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely." (Luke 20:46-47)

a Godly thought...
Perhaps the hugest shock of all will be the sight of a perfect God, whispering the most unexpected greeting to plebs like us:"well done, good and faithful servant." (p76 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Leadership is something you may fall into after you've proven yourself as a follower. (p139 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
Firstly I must apologise as I know the blogosphere has gone into crisis mode as a result of my post being 6 hours late today! Stephen Court, my number 1 reader has particularly been in distress so to him and any others who I have spoilt their morning rituals I'd like to offer my deepest apology.
Last night I was at my brother-in-laws bucks party at remote campsite in Healesville. As we slept over and I didn't take my remote network card with me I had to fast the Internet for the last 18 hours. It was great hang out with friends and reflect over the last 29 years of Paul's life as he gets ready for the big wedding day in December. Paul has made a life long decision on whom he is going to spend the rest of his life with and I have no doubts Sara is a great choice so I wish them all the best.
I also have been through decisions that last for life in not only my marriage partner but also steps I am making towards commissioned officership. My brother said to me when I told him I was engaged that "a life time is a very long time." We all have the opportunity to make major decisions in the course of our lives that are for a very long time, I just pray that we consult God and wise people around us as we make decisions that are for life. I want to look back on my life with no regrets and live life to the full and for me life long commitments make it even better. For many today they avoid these decisions such as soldiership, officership or even marriage because it is life long, I say take the plunge and enjoy life with real commitments that last for all the days of our lives.

Just a thought.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Torquay

a Jesus thought...
Every day he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words. (Luke 19:47-48)

a Godly thought...
Sometimes, going with the flow just won’t work, especially if the flow is headed over Niagara. Will someone-perhaps me-please just stand up and be counted? (p69 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Discipleship is delegation. Jesus did not spread Christianity into a worldwide movement; His early followers did. (p133 Finzel)

Dave thought...
Yesterday I got to spend the day with a group of youth leaders who attend the National Youth Ministry Convention in September at Torquay. It was a lot of fun and a great time to share ideas that came out of the conference and hear each others dreams for 2008. But perhaps the highlight of the day was to prayer walk the land currently under offer for Torquay Salvos. This 5 acre block covered in gum trees and a small dam has so much potential and as we walked around it and stopped to pray I had to keep asking God, ''I wonder what will happen on this land over the next 10 years?'' As Torquay Salvos, with Lts. Catherine & Phil Abram and youth worker Sarah Eldridge, continues to grow and connect with the community it will begin a new phase of its ministry as it builds and implements its plans for the future. Only God knows where this path will take them but in a way He is all that needs to know, as God asks us to serve Him faithfully not predict the future.

Just a thought.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dorothy

a Jesus thought...
"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:13-14)

a Godly thought...
It is awkward and uncomfortable to have to push through to explore our differences and resolve our conflicts, but with God’s help, we ought to be able to take that painful journey and still hold on to each other in fellowship and friendship. (p66 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Don’t surround yourself only with like-minded individuals; that creates a one-dimensional team. Variety is the strength of team leadership. (p125 Finzel)
a Dave thought...
At first glance, Dorothy is all wrong as a model of leadership. She is the wrong gender (female) and the wrong age (young). Rather than being a person with all the answers, who knows what’s up and where to go and what’s what, she is herself lost, a seeker, often bewildered, and vulnerable. These characteristics would disqualify her from modern leadership. But they serve as her best credentials for postmodern leadership.
Last night in our cell group we looked at Brian McLaren’s (brianmclaren.net) Dorothy on Leadership and how the way Dorothy lead is perhaps closer to the way Jesus lead more than we realize. The main points we can take into our own lives is to value acceptance, listening and befriending people on their journeys of struggle and confusion until the road disappears. We don’t have to have all the answers everyday for the challenges that people face but we all have the ability to listen, comfort, support and as we go somewhere new together. Remember it is easy to get the amplifiers out and sit behind a curtain and pretend you have all the right answers (if toto doesn’t find you) but the world is looking for friends today that will hold hands and travel with them doing life in partnership, regardless of whether they have courage, brains or even a heart. I hope to see more Dorothys in positional roles over the coming years as the world longs for leadership that partners rather than commands, and comforts rather than threatens.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Cup Day

a Jesus thought...
Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17:17-19)

a Godly thought...
The first person to benefit from the act of forgiveness is the one who forgives. (p62 Lucas)

a leading thought...
8 steps to effective change… (p116 Finzel)

1. Prepare carefully
2. Learn from the past
3. Gain ownership from the inside out
4. Count the cost
5. Anticipate resistance
6. Listen and learn
7. Use experts
8. Take your time


a Dave thought...
Its says something about the Australian culture that we have a public holiday for the Melbourne Cup our biggest horse race and gambling day of the year. The day was declared a day off work for most back in 1877 and continues to grow in popularity. As declaring Easter Friday a holiday gives all Australians an opportunity to reflect on the death of Christ and attend church, yesterday gave an opportunity for us to dabble in betting and attend the big race. Our family had a great day as we got the house in order, had friends over and ate fish and chips for tea. It was sad in a way it took a gambling day for us to find the time to catch up on things and spend some quality time together. In the end it is up to us all to make decisions about the use of our time that will be in line with our values, so what may have been a costly day for some, was a rewarding day for us.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Rural Robert

a Jesus thought...
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?
13"No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." (Luke 16:10-13)

a Godly thought...
Th church must hear the voice of God loud and clear. And the wider world needs to tune in too. We want the real thing - so let's take a little more time before we conclude, "God said." (p57 Lucas

a leading thought...
Unless we are responsive to change as organisations, we may soon become extinct. (p112 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
Yesterday as I flew from Mildura back home to Melbourne I sat next to Robert. As I do with most people I sit next to on planes, I asked him a few questions and before long he got his jump drive out of his bag and showed me his 10 minute company video on my laptop. Robert is a drilling expert, he flies around Australia drilling holes up to 500 metres deep and takes rock samples out of the ground so geologists can advise mining companies whether it is worth drilling the ground further. We chatted for about an hour and talked about his children and how hard it is to leave a 16 & 12 year old home for 20 nights at a time as he lived a lot of his year in remote rural communities.
I personally love meeting new people and hearing their stories and trying to work out why they live the way they do and when I have an opportunity God is brought into a conversation. So as we move through life look out for opportunities to expand your friendships and share your story as many people are looking for meaningful relationships and a time and place to connect. Who knows where a conversation may end up, but God surely does.

Just a thought.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Bloody Chocolate

a Jesus thought...
"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins[a] and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? 9And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' 10In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents." (Luke 15:8-10)

a Godly thought...
If we're going to live by and die for anything, let's make sure that it's God's honest truth. Other ideas might promise us light. but keep us in darkness for life. (p48 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Don't be so far out in front of the troops that they mistake you for the enemy and shoot you in the back. (p86 Finzel)

a Dave thought...

Here is an excerpt from yesterdays Age newspaper...
The Confectionary Manufacturers Association — of which Nestle, Cadbury Schweppes and Mars Confectionery are members — cannot confirm if chocolate sold here has passed through the hands of child slaves. But they can offer no guarantees that the chocolate coating Australia's three biggest-selling bars — Cherry Ripe, Kit Kat and Mars — does not contain slave-tainted cocoa.
Association spokesman David Greenwood said it was notoriously difficult to identify children held as slaves or bonded workers because most plantations were family businesses in which children have traditionally laboured alongside their parents.
Adding to the confusion were large numbers of children moving to the Ivory Coast to escape the desperate poverty in neighbouring Mali, he said.
But the Salvation Army's anti-slavery co-ordinator, social justice director Captain Danielle Strickland, says this approach is not good enough. She believes manufacturers have a responsibility to urgently find out who produces their cocoa.
"Given that Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) produces 43 per cent of the world's cocoa you could say there is a 43 per cent chance your favourite chocolate bar has some beans produced by child slaves," she said."There is no doubt the issue is complex, but if you are producing something you have a responsibility to find out what you are buying."

This issue of chocolate is starting to get a lot of press and thanks to Captain Danielle Strickland (justsalvos.com) we are being educated on how to live a just lifestyle. Last night I conducted the Mildura youth meeting at the conclusion of great day organised by Lt. Heather Stamp. I preached on Micah 6:8 about acting justly and we looked at how we can respond as Christians to issues in our society. We placed a tin of milo we found in the corps kitchen at one of our response stations and asked the youth to eat a teaspoon of milo while they read stories of exploited children farming cocoa on the Ivory Coast. Some of the youth will no longer be able to eat Nestle (one of the biggest culprits) Milo without thinking of the sad stories of injustice that are happening around the world. So we now have choices to make, by what we eat and drink we are making value statements everyday. So start thinking WWJE (Eat) or WWJD (Drink) it messes up your life a bit but then again no where near the amount it is messing up trafficked people all around the world.

Just a thought.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Mildura

a Jesus thought...
"Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
(Luke 14:34)

a Godly thought...
When we are tempted to go onto emotional meltdown about something trivial, should we actually stop and consider that it's really not such a big deal and pause to pray for those who face real terrors? (p45 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Everyone in leadership faces criticism. In fact the more effective you are and the more mature you are, the more criticism you're likely to receive. (p72 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
Today I am in Mildura, I flew in last night on a 36-seater plane and will be preaching at the 11am service this morning as one of their youth is enrolled as a Senior Soldier, running a leadership seminar this afternoon and then preaching again at the youth service at 7pm. I discovered last night there are 60,000 people living up here and I am grateful for the opportunity to minister in different parts of Australia. What I love is that the same God is everywhere I go and He inspires and talks to people all over the world just like He talks to me. So I look forward to how God will interact with us today in Mildura knowing He is here already working through people here in rural Australia.

Just a thought.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

World beliefs

a Jesus thought...
People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last." (Luke 13:29)

a Godly thought...
The church is not a pristine, gleaming trophy case, but a field hospital loaded with people in the renewal process: and bloody and messy it often is, too. (p42 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Good supervisors are people who even when they must correct someone, can step on your toes without messing up your shine.
a Dave thought...
Interesting article on Global Religion in the Economist this week by John Micklethwait. Its called In God's Name and it deals with tension in religion and politics around the world.
"Part of that secular fury, especially in Europe, comes from exasperation. After all, it has been a canon of progressive thought since the Enlightenment that modernity—that heady combination of science, learning and democracy—would kill religion. Plainly, this has not happened. Numbers about religious observance are notoriously untrustworthy, but most of them seem to indicate that any drift towards secularism has been halted, and some show religion to be on the increase. The proportion of people attached to the world's four biggest religions—Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism—rose from 67% in 1900 to 73% in 2005 and may reach 80% by 2050.

Just a thought.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Grace

a Jesus thought...
Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:22-26)

a Godly thought...
Sometimes we dress up our church consumerism in the disguise of pursuing the radical for the sake of heaven above – when in fact we are really on safari to try and find what suits us right down to the ground. (p39 Lucas)

a leading thought...
The greatest innovations and strides forward we will make in our calling will arise from ideas generated at the fringes of our organisation. (p63 Finzel)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday afternoon my wife and I dropped in and visited Davey in a Salvation Army Detox unit in the city. Scottish Dave is a good friend and since I met him over 4 years ago he has had many ups and downs in his life. I remember meeting him for the very first time when I took him out to Nunawading to listen to our concert band play Christmas carols. The night was a disaster as it literally hailed for half an hour with hail the size of golf balls. So as we were trapped in my car together for an hour in the car that night, I look back and think maybe that God used that moment to hook us up for this long journey together.
Davey has an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) as the result of an accident outside a pub from about 10 years ago, but still gets on with life and always does the best he can in every situation. He has become our number 1 volunteer at Café Salvo and has cleared many tables and washed countless dishes. A pinnacle of his time with us was when he became an adherent 15 months ago in our Sunday evening service and then had his family back at our house for the after party.This week Davey asked me if I was disappointed with him, as he felt he has let me down. I let him know that we all make mistakes and we all need grace from time to time to make it through the journey that is our life. I continue to pray for Davey and thank God for His grace and forgiveness for without it we would all be lost.

Just a thought.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

An apology

a Jesus thought...
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)

a Godly thought...
Leaders who aspire to project a something-other-than-human image need to lighten up and realize that they are still clothed in flesh. And the rest of us need to recognise that those we look to for leadership and sometimes revere are ordinary folk who get tired, fed up, bored, upset and atheistic once in a while. (p28 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Encouragement is one of the premier functions of leadership. I have come to believe strongly that people can never be encouraged too much. (p55 Finzel)
a Dave thought...
Speaking at the recent Leadership Summit, Bill Hybels (founder of Willow Creek) honestly assessed his own church:
Some of the stuff that we have put millions of dollars into thinking it would really help our people grow and develop spiritually, when the data actually came back it wasn’t helping people that much. Other things that we didn’t put that much money into and didn’t put much staff against is stuff our people are crying out for.
Having spent thirty years creating and promoting a multi-million dollar organization driven by programs and measuring participation, and convincing other church leaders to do the same, you can see why Hybels called this research “the wake up call” of his adult life.
Hybels confesses:
We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
In other words, spiritual growth doesn’t happen best by becoming dependent on elaborate church programs but through the age old spiritual practices of prayer, bible reading, and relationships. And, ironically, these basic disciplines do not require multi-million dollar facilities and hundreds of staff to manage.

I’m an admirer of Bill for his honesty and willingness to admitting the past mistakes they have made investing in a program –driven church. We as the Salvos also need to look into where we are investing our time and energy and remember the definition of insanity – is doing the same things and expecting different results. So lets put our dollars and officers into the things that count – saving & discipling people so we too have no regrets when we one day look back and assess our church.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Pokies

a Jesus thought...
Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her. (Luke 10:41-42)


a Godly thought...
Perhaps there is a middle ground, somewhere between the hotline and the disconnected line: where we do genuinely hear the whispers of the God who loves to speak to us. (p22 Lucas)


a leading thought...
Sometimes we think of passion as a fire that burns out quickly. But to me spiritual passion runs deep: It is a lifelong commitment to follow the disciplines necessary to achieve and sustain spirituality. (p49 Finzel)


a Dave thought...
Victorians are losing close to $7 million a day on poker machines, or more than $2.5 billion a year, a new report shows. And in the last financial year, gamblers lost a further $1 billion at Melbourne's Crown Casino alone. The Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation annual report, tabled in state parliament today, shows the gambling losses recorded in Victoria for the financial year were $4.7 billion, including racing, lotteries and sports betting.
These stats are frightening as literally hundreds of lives and families are ruined every year because of gambling addictions. But now as the government rely on this income $1.5 billion in taxes and levies it is hard to see why they will stop the ever growing gambling industry. For them even if they have to hand us a few million to look after the victims they end up way in front.
When I was ministering at Box Hill Salvos there was a lady who came for regular food parcels after she made her way across to us after spending 4 hours on the pokies across the road at the RSL and yes we still showed mercy and gave her food. But as we continue to help people who are victims of the thousands of pokie machines I sometimes wonder whether we should be doing more at the proactive end rather than the reactive end as we used to fight injustice in our early years.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

One thing

a Jesus thought...
They followed Him; and He received them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who had need of healing. (Luke 9:11)

a Godly thought...
When it comes to exercise, diet, prayer, Bible reading - or anything else that requires to make a series of choices, my problem is my head. I sometimes forget that my mind is the servant of my soul - and not the other way around. (p16 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Effective leaders have closed the distance between leader and follower, coming out of closed-off mahogany executive suites and into the open office world of the workers. (p41 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
After many years of being in youth ministry I discovered the greatest thing we can do for a young person is to teach them how to connect with God. As regardless of where they end up in life, what career, who they marry, or what country they live in if they have worked out how to chat with God and read His word it will last the test of time. As we often spend all our time and energy getting our youth to attend youth group, bible study or a certain camp they are only short lived experiences that work for a season of their lives.
Unfortunately we tend to measure success in worldly ways with counting programs and attendances but over time I have seen many look good in these areas but never work out how to communicate with God, so in the end they leave and have nothing. So let us try and pass on one thing that will last them all their days - that God is with us all everyday and that while we do life together we can chat with Him, listen to Him and read scriptures which in turn will help us live lives that bring honour to Him.

Just a thought.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Comparisons

a Jesus thought...
And he went his way and proclaimed throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:39)

a Godly thought... from Lucas out Loud by Jeff Lucas
It's been said that the devil is in the detail. I'm not sure if that's true, but it's good to know that God is. (p3 Lucas)

a leading thought...
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are. (p35 Finzel)
a Dave thought...
Yesterday it was great to make the drive down to Jan Juc to hang out with my brother John and his family. About 6 months ago Johns wife Denise gave birth to Riley (pictured in the background) and a few weeks later my wife Kylie gave birth to Josiah (foreground). They have both been through their fair share of doctors appointments with Riley still described as "a miracle baby'' by Denise after a very traumatic birth.
When you sit around and have baby talk we are always so proud of what our own child is up to and the stages of progress they are going through. There is always comparisons going on as we discuss language and body movements and make sure our babies are growing at a normal rate. Well yesterday I realised what was more important was the fact that these two children both happy and playing together, (baby-style) have come into the world and made all of our lives better for it. It will be fascinating to watch their developments and journey through life together but most of all I thank God that they are both with us today.

Just a thought.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The internet owners

a Jesus thought...
Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard; that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them. (Luke 7:22)

a Godly thought...
For holiness to have continuing relevance it must be in the context of praxis: the inner work of Christ must become evident outwardly in active engagement with the reign of God in the world. (p218 Webb)

a leading thought...
If you don't give people freedom to make decisions, they will keep coming back to you to make the decisions for them. (p29 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
In the brave new world of online media, fortunes can be won and lost on the whim of Google's key search algorithm. And when, without warning, Google tweaked that mathematical formula this week, there was panic on the world wide web. Swarms of bloggers and webmasters of major sites like Washingtonpost.com, Forbes.com, Engadget.com and SFGate.com noticed a downgrading in their PageRank, Google's measure of a web page's value.Many websites small and large receive over half of their visitors from Google search referrals. And without a sales team to sign advertising deals, most become AdSense affiliates, automatically connecting them with millions of advertisers worldwide.
Ironically, in the ultimate democracy that is the internet, Google reigns as virtual dictator. By changing the way it ranks sites in search results, it has the power to effortlessly shape the digital economy and manipulate the incomes of millions of web businesses around the world.

"It's been said that Google owns the internet - it's not a permanent grasp but as long as everyone's using their search engine it's very hard for anyone to get in and compete with them."

Who would have imagined when Larry Page & Sergey Brin established Google in 1998 while at Stanford University that they would end up ruling the cyber world? It is very hard to predict the future but how we, the Salvos adapt to a fast changing world determines how long we will continue to be in existence. So lets dream and innovate and lets look for new ways to be the Salvation Army in the 21st Century, but more importantly encourage our innovators as you just never know a Larry & Sergey may be sitting in your corps.

Just a thought.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Balance

a Jesus thought...
First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother's eye. (Luke 6:42)

a Godly thought...
Holiness does not imply the eradication of normal human appetites, but their redirection and control by the Holy Spirit, as Christ is formed within. (p209 Webb)

a leading thought...
Organising is the work we do to put people and tasks together in a structure that works. (p23 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
Balancing career and family is not only about working less, writes Hugh Mackay.
THE art of integrating our working lives and our personal lives is a delicate one, because we know that getting it wrong can be bad for our relationships and our health. This is often described as the problem of "work-life balance", as if work isn't part of life.The available figures suggest that 20 per cent of employees work 50 or more hours a week and 30 per cent regularly work on weekends. Two million Australians lose at least six hours of "family time" through Sunday work, and those hours are generally not fully compensated for by time off during the week. So it's not surprising that 37 per cent of full-time workers say they would like to reduce their working hours.
At the other end of the spectrum, though, the Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us there are 1.8 million Australians who either have no work or not enough to satisfy their needs. So this story is partly about the unequal distribution of work.
It's also about choice. Plenty of people complain about being "overworked" and the very word implies exploitation, victimisation and lack of choice. But, in many cases, we do have a choice and those choices are moral as well as economic, since they affect the wellbeing of others. We choose the kind of lifestyle we want and the level of affluence needed to sustain it. We choose whether or not to send our children to an expensive private school whose fees will increase the pressure on both parents to work. We choose the extent to which we will indulge our children in material ways, where we'll go for our holidays, the kind of cars we'll drive. We even choose debt: no one is forcing us to overspend on our credit cards.

Some resent their long hours; others revel in them as a sign of success. Although extended working hours can cause relationship difficulties at home, the opposite is also true: many people who work long hours are quite frank about their preference for being in the office rather than facing tension and unpleasantness at home.
The problem of work-family balance is real, but the study of working hours doesn't just tell the story of human toil, it also tells the story of human conflict, inconsistency and irrationality. Simple answers? Never.

It is always an area that is hard to get right, and I find it interesting how many committed Salvos are work-aholics, both officers and lay people alike. Unfortunately I also see the the side effects with their children craving for their time and attention.
Personally I have the luxury of working from home but I also promise my wife to be home between 7.30-8.30 each morning and 5.30-7.30 each night and also take my family away for 2 x 2 week holidays per year. Although it is not always possible when you plan ahead it is often very doable. So this will always be a challenge to get right but it is important especially leaders not to just model a huge work ethic as a key to success in the business world but model family first as a key to success for a better society.

Just a thought.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Dunlop Volleys

a Jesus thought...
So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed. (Luke 5:16)

a Godly thought...
The Wesleyan-holiness tradition is rediscovering its evangelical imperative, its social mandate to minister to the poor and marginalised, and its capacity to make a helpful contribution to ecumenical conversation. (p200 Webb)

a leading thought...
Leadership lies more in balancing the right things than in having the right gifts and personality. (p16 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
The Volley Canvas Sport shoe was first developed in 1939 by Adrian Quist a famous tennis player of the era who was employed by Dunlop Rubber Aust. Since 1939, sales have been estimated at around 26 million pairs. Volleys are not only worn as Sports Shoes, many sales have been for casual wear, work footwear, fishing, bushwalking, boating etc. With the current worldwide trend for comfortable canvas footwear Volleys in Australia are reaching new sales heights with their cool styles and colourful patterns.
My 5yo son Noah has been watching me blog while on holidays and suggested that I blog on his dunlop volleys, so he took a picture of them for me yesterday and true to my word here is my contribution. Although he keeps calling them "my nikes" he loves them because they are so comfortable and make him fast!

Many of us have worn these world famous shoes but what I am intrigued with is who decides when they become fashionable again? As they were all the go in the mid 80's when I was cool, but why 20 years later are they back selling like never before? What was old is now retro and cool and also the parents are loving it because they only cost $25! So what else is back, well in the Salvo world I know many are into the high neck uniforms, and also the crest but now is the time to dive back into our heritage and resurrect the old, if anyone says it isn't cool tell them its retro and you should get away with it.

Just a thought.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

VCEs Muck-up

a Jesus thought...
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor. (Luke 4:18)

a Godly thought...
Wesley had no time for solitary religion, and therefore created this communal context in which people could grow in grace, and increase in perfection, while awaiting entire sanctification. (p182 Webb)

a leading thought...
L-Long-term record of effectiveness
E-Egos surrendered to Christ
A-Approachable
D-Devotion to spouse and family
E-Excellence in work
R-Reflection of Christlikeness in character
S-Sharing with others (p5 Finzel)

a Dave thought...
POLICE are believed to be investigating allegations that egg-throwing students from a nearby school descended on Toorak's Loreto Mandeville Hall last week before the annual muck-up day, a ritual marking the final day of school for year 12 students.
The Age believes that students ran into the school grounds at lunch time with their school jumpers tied around their heads, throwing eggs at Mandeville students.
One member of the group could face charges of trespass and assault after allegedly abusing a staff member. Mandeville Hall confirmed that the police were involved but declined to comment further.
With thousands of VCE students letting off steam this week before their first exam on Friday, Melbourne's transport operators are alert — but not alarmed.
Connex spokeswoman Kate De Clercq said the train operator was investigating reports of people riding on the back of an Epping train yesterday. Footage posted on YouTube showed students clinging onto the back of a train leaving Windsor Station.
Brighton Grammar principal Michael Urwin said the school planned activities on the last day to minimise misbehaviour. But he conceded it was hard for schools to control students' behaviour when they were off campus.
At Caulfield Grammar's Caulfield campus, the last day at school for the class of 2007 started at 6.15am on Tuesday when students arrived to a jumping castle, slippery slide and sumo wrestling activities put on by the school. After working up an appetite, the students were served breakfast by staff, with the day concluding with a dinner for staff and students.

Love the initiative from Brighton & Caulfield Grammar here as we are always quick to go into damage control and be reactive but surely our best reponse is to celebrate with these graduating students and be proactive.

Well done VCE students for getting this far and enjoy the week with style not stupidity, but most of all prepare yourselves the best you possibly can for your exams, hope you all finish the year with class.

Just a thought.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Unconference

a Jesus thought...
He who has two tunics, let him give to him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise. (Luke 3:11)

a Godly thought...
An advantage in the formulation of Christian perfection as perfect love is that love can be expressed irrespective of maturity of performance, level of intelligence, or the limitations of personality flaws. (p179 Webb)

a leading thought... from Empowered Leaders by Hans Finzel
Leadership is a selfless journey that involves devoting yourself to a group of people to accomplish great things for the Lord that you could never do alone. (xviii, Finzel)

a Dave thought...
An unconference is a conference where the content of the sessions is driven and created by the participants, generally day-by-day during the course of the event, rather than by a single organizer, or small group of organizers, in advance. To date, the term is primarily in use in the geek community. Unconference processes like Open Space Technology, however, have been around for over 20 years in other contexts, for example in Future studies as Future workshops. There are also parallels with science-fiction fandom, in which a low-key convention with less structure, not focusing on professionals and guests of honor, is called a Relaxacon.
Open Space Technology is an energizing and emergent way to organize an agenda for a conference. Those coming to the event can post on a wiki ahead of time topics they want to present about or hope others will present about. The wiki can also be used to share who is coming because it is the attendees who have a passion to share that contribute to the event and will make it great.
With the 3 photos above I know which environment I would prefer, but we still seem to have a default setting for the top image, and even though we do some conferences with the feel of the bottom picture the agenda is still very much set by the organisers.
This is the first time I have come across a definition for this type of event and very interested in running an unconference for Salvos in 2008. I am interested in your thoughts or experiences, has anyone been to such an unconference before or would you like to?

Just a thought.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Obesogenic Environment

a Jesus thought...
After three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking the questions. (Luke 2:46)

a Godly thought...
Assurance for the child of God is characterised by the inner witness of the Spirit and the external testimony of spiritual fruit within the Christian's life. (p171 Webb)

a leading thought...
The future belongs to those who see possibilities before they become obvious. (John Sculley)

a Dave thought...
Individuals cannot take all the blame if they are obese - modern society adds pressure to put on weight, according to a new British report.
The study by government think-tank Foresight called for greater help to counter the "'obesogenic' environment" by designing towns and cities to promote walking and cycling and encouraging people to buy healthier food. "Although personal responsibility plays a crucial part in weight gain, human biology is being overwhelmed by the effects of today's 'obesogenic' environment, with its abundance of energy-dense food, motorised transport and sedentary lifestyles.
Reports are now saying that it would take up to 30 years to change the way we have established the physical environments we live in across the western world. There is also something about having a McDonald's on most corners and less and less visible churches that has resulted in us becoming less healthier physically and spiritually.
50 years ago the Salvos had a strong presence with a corps building in most main streets around Melbourne, now we have half the buildings and mostly in the back streets as fast food outlets and other businesses have moved in. Our biggest presence in the main streets is now Salvos stores and Employment plus, so maybe we have become financially obesogenic like the physical environment we are surrounded by?

Just a thought.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Debate

a Jesus thought...
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. (Luke 1:53)

a Godly thought...
Wesley considers that there are degrees of grace and faith starting with the a) ignorance of God to the b) fear of God to the beginnings of the c) love of God and ultimately to the perfection of that love. (p162 Webb)

a leading thought...
Whether you're an untested rookie or a successful veteran, if you want to be a champion tomorrow, be teachable today. (p147 Maxwell)

a Dave thought...
I found the debate fascinating last night between Howard & Rudd with the concept of making this public prime time viewing an interesting campaign strategy. Channel Nine opted for a "worm" reaction — 65 per cent of voters who participated scored the debate for Mr Rudd, 29 per cent for Mr Howard. In Mr Howard's favour however is the fact he has lost every public debate on record but still wins the elections.
So how important is it to think quick as a leader and have the right phrases and language to wow your audience? I say it is a good show stopper but the best leaders don't rely on it. I liken it to the church with a preacher who is fantastic for their hour in the spotlight on Sunday but overall is an average leader for the other 167 hours in the week.
So do we follow people who are quick thinking, good looking, and stage dazzling or do we back the leader who has produced fruit, exhibits character and develops a strategy that works when they are off the stage as well as on it?

Just a thought.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Abortions decreasing

a Jesus thought...
He who believes and is baptised will be saved. (Mark 16:16)

a Godly thought...
Wesley calls for preaching of Christ in all his offices - that is, as Prophet, Priest and King. (p156 Webb)

a leading thought...
You've got to love your people more than your position. (p133 Maxwell)

a Dave thought...
From today's Age newspaper...
FEWER teenagers are seeking abortions, and the Federal Government's baby bonus may well be playing a part in encouraging some young women to keep their children.
Figures obtained by The Sunday Age under freedom of information show that in 2005-06, 850 terminations were performed on women aged under 20 in public hospitals, down from 924 the previous year and 1010 in 2003-04.
A similar trend is evident in private hospitals. Victoria recorded 1724 teenage abortions in 2005-06, down from 1835 the year before and 1845 reported in 2003-04.
Over that period, Department of Human Services figures show that teenage births increased in Victoria from 1816 in 2003 to 1931 last year. However, the overall proportion of teenagers giving birth stayed the same, despite the drop in abortions.
Doctors cite better use of contraception and improved sex education, but there is growing speculation that the Government's $4000 bonus could be a factor in encouraging teenagers to continue with pregnancies.
The figures have been released as the Victorian Law Reform Commission investigates how to remove abortion from the Crimes Act, a move backed by Premier John Brumby and Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu.
The director of obstetrics at Monash Medical Centre, Euan Wallace, told The Sunday Age that "financial incentives" may be influencing some women's decisions about termination.
"There may well be some women in the past who would have chosen to terminate their pregnancy who might now continue the pregnancy because of financial incentives," he said.
But Professor Wallace said Australia's overall abortion rate remained "woeful".
"If you look at some European countries, Holland for example, they have an abortion rate much lower than ours, which goes to their sex education."
More user-friendly contraception, such as the implanted version of the pill, Implanon, and the morning-after pill, had reduced the rate of teenage abortions, said Mark Jones, the medical director of the Women's Clinic on Richmond Hill. "Maybe Mr Howard's X amount of dollars with the baby bonus has helped, too," he said.
The baby bonus is a one-off payment of $4187 for each child. It will rise to $5000 next year.
The new Victorian figures show that women in their early 20s were most likely to have an abortion, with 5030 terminations in public and private hospitals in 2005-06. But while the focus has long been on young women seeking abortions, Dr Jones said many of his patients were older women who felt their families were already complete.
The figures show Victoria's overall abortion rate has remained steady.
In 2005-06, there were 18,269 terminations in public and private hospitals compared to 18,514 in 2002-03.
Professor Julie Quinlivan, dean of medicine at Notre Dame University Australia and an expert on teenage pregnancy, said teen abortions had steadily decreased over the past 30 years.
"I do think there is some progress in teenagers being aware about taking precautions."

Just a thought.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Everything Must Change

a Jesus thought...
Truly this was the Son of God! (Mark 15:39)

a Godly thought...
For Wesley the conception of God as Creator and Governor needs to be integrated with the concept of God as Parent, Provider and Physician. (p155 Webb)

a leading thought...
Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways. (Jackson Brown Jr.)

a Dave thought...

This is a review of McLaren's latest book, anyone read it?


In Brian McLaren's newest book, Everything Must Change, Brian connects the dots of the days' largest global crisis and shifts in global thinking with the heart of the message of Christianity. Brian's careful weaving of story and reality happens in such a way that it will make everyone from his friends to his greatest critics pause and reflect. In what maybe his most accessibly comprehensive work yet, Brian tells his story of wrestling with the nature Christianity as we have it today, and why it must not merely change, but learn to confront the 'suicidal framing stories of our day.' Whether you are new to Brian, read every one of his works, or a staunch critic...READ THIS BOOK! Theologically, politically, spiritually, and economically this book might just be the straw that breaks the back of the camel of colonial, modern, daulistic thinking in every religion. Many who have left the church will read this book and again experience a revolution of hope welling up inside of them. The message of Jesus as explored in Everything Must Change is good news for all who have the capacity to read and who choose to understand it. But maybe more importantly, it is GREAT NEWS for those who will experience this compassionate, loving, truth-telling, non-violent shift in their communities, in their families, and in their nations. In the end, its simple: if what Brian puts forth is true, not only can everything change, but everything must change because of Jesus!

Just a thought.