Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Ah yes.. Christmas

Stumbled upon this today. Loved it's message!

New Salvation Army Hoodie

Oh... if I we're younger..... I've been looking for some new combat gear...

These are hot off the press from The Salvation Army youth "Boot Camp" in USA. Should be available soon... :-)

NEW :: Salvation Hoodie from SayTV on Vimeo.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Light belongs in the Darkness

A candle in a well lit room or in bright sunlight does very little. But a candle in the dead of night or a dark room is a useful and powerful thing. It helps, guides, drives away fear, eluminates, exposes, warms, and makes safe.

Candles belong in the dark rooms of this world not just in our cosy churches, cathedrals and citadels.

"Darkness is only the absence of light" Albert Einstein.

God's soldiers must seek out darkness and go and shine the light of Jesus.

God help me to do this.

See how Salvation Army soldiers in Australia are in the fight here http://armybarmyremix.blogspot.com/2009/11/thick-of-fight.html

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Go ... do something

"Go .... do something"
. The words of William Booth to Bramwell when confronted with the reality of men sleeping rough under the bridges of London. As a Salvationist concerned with building God's Kingdom here on earth I believe our Army is still being called to "Go and do something".

Our Salvation Army UK Leader last night at the annual conference told us that "we lack nothing in the fight against sin and injustice" and that "we have the most powerful weapon in this war against sin the world has ever seen - that is God's Love". Our only obstacle is our own complacency and comfortable living.

Oh that the world would taste and see the riches of His grace.
The arms of love that compass me would all mankind embrace.


The sleepout went well on Saturday night. Photos here http://picasaweb.google.com/Smiggers/Sleepout200920091115# It rained and everything and everyone got damp. But it's not the cold, discomfort or sleeping on the ground or the wet that is so difficult.... but the reality that I go home to a family who love me and so many in our own city do not have this blessing. It breaks God's heart that so many in our world do not have homes and are not loved. Lord show us how to make a difference. Amen.

Thanks to everyone who sponsored me.... it's not too late.... http://www.justgiving.com/sleep-out2009

God bless.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Oxford Sleep-Out for the Homeless Nov 14

Oxford Sleep-Out

On 14 November I'll be sleeping outside in the cold and (probably) wet in support of those in Oxford who find themselves without a home. Please do not feel sorry for me! Imagine doing this for the whole winter!

It's not just to raise money for homeless charities working in Oxford but to raise awareness and to spend an evening with some really interesting and lovely people. Many of those who participate in this event are homeless themselves.

This photo from the 2008 sleepout is me (with silly white hat) my good friend Alan and my 12 year old son Josh (still asleep under some very warm cardboard boxes). See more photos here http://picasaweb.google.com/Smiggers/OxfordSleepout2008#

Please sponsor me if you are able. http://www.justgiving.com/sleep-out2009

Thank you.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Power of Love

I'm talking about the Power of God's love at work through ordinary people.

Just read the last chapter of Genesis for the first time ever!

Quick recap..... Joseph is beaten by his brothers, sold into slavery, imprisoned, made lord over Egypt, his brothers come looking for food, Joseph reveals himself to them and is reunited with his father Jacob who then dies. This is an awesome story but I had never read on until now.

Genesis 50 Joseph Reassures His Brothers
15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.

18 His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said.

19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

Wow! Here's Joseph demonstrating the mercy of God. His heart is broken ("17 ... Joseph wept.") by the plea of his brothers who are asking for mercy not because they were necessarily repentant but because Jacob, their father, told them to.

What does Joseph do? He reassures them and speaks kindly to them. This kind of love has power beyond anything else to heal, transform, forgive and restore.

More of this in me Lord! Amen.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Aggressive Love

Just read a most inspiring blog entry from a Salvationist in Australia about how groups of Salvation Army soldiers in the early 1900's would storm Japanese brothels to rescue girls. Read more here http://armybarmyremix.blogspot.com/2009/09/inclusive-love.html

I'm blown away that Christians would aggressively act in Love to save a lost life. Can you imagine a dozen uniform wearing Salvation Army men and women being beaten, spat upon and wounded while offering protection to women wanting to escape the life they were probably sold into.

What injustice am I prepared to stand up and suffer for?

As I continue to pray for situations and people here in Oxford I will be asking God to empower me with His Holy Spirit that I too, in aggressive love, may defend the weak, helpless and suffering.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

To be like Jesus.

To be like Jesus
This hope possesses me
In every thought and deed
This is my aim my creed
To be like Jesus
His spirit helping me
This hope possesses me
like Him I'll be.

Have sung this song in our church for many years now but this week I learned from the great Dr Leslie Weatherhead that the Gospel... the Good News is not that we try to become like Jesus but that we become friends with him and are therefore transformed through that friendship.

Jesus did not say "I have come so that you might all be like me". If we emulate the actions, thoughts and ways of Jesus but do not befriend him then we miss the very essence of Christianity. That is God seeking out mankind in order to restore a lost relationship.

The chip off the old block syndrome then kicks in. The more time we spend with Jesus in relationship... the more we become like him.

I love this songs sentiment and how it expresses the desire I have to "be like Jesus" but there is a real danger that I strive to be like him when all he wants is me to befriend him.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

My books have gone!

Over the years I've collected hundreds of Christian books - commentaries, encyclopaedias, books on theology, church history, stories of great saints, Christian psychology, testimonies and even some Christian fiction.

Now the question I'm asking is "am I walking the way of Jesus because of any of them?"

How can I have so many books about Christianity and be so far from living a God loving, radical, injustice fighting, mercy loving, grace showing life ?

So... they're gone. Well, at least all boxed and tucked away in the attic. I kept one of course - the one book I probably should keep!

Oh yes and I kept the one I'm currently reading .... "Letters from Prison" by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

I just read in there that Jesus did not preach or try and "convert" either of the thieves crucified either side of him. He simply responded to the cry from one.

Wow... what does this mean?.... I must go and look it up in my Tyndale commentary.....

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where is the power?

What or where is the power to change the lives of men? Indeed, if the life of a man changed would I notice?

42Then he [the dying thief] said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom"

43Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

At this moment the crucified thief's life was changed forever. He still died a criminals agonising death. Did Jesus save him from his suffering? No! Did Jesus reunite him with his family and friends? No!

When I come across desperate, suffering and hopeless humanity what or who's salvation am I trying to bring? Mine..?... to see them lifted from poverty, housed, well fed and in full employment? or God's... to see their souls reconciled with with their creator and spending the rest of their lives with Jesus.

Where is the power to lead souls to this perfect salvation?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Justice - The start for me

I think I'm learning that when the church teaches and encourages personal holiness that this is good. But it is far better to make your holiness touch the lives of others; to try and see the world as God sees it; to not just do "charity" but to fight for justice. For holiness is bringing about God's Kingdom of justice, mercy and peace here on earth.

Injustice is not what God wants and is therefore sin. If I am called to fight sin then I must fight injustice.

Micah 6:8 (New International Version)

8He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

It is not enough just to hand out food to the homeless but I must fight for justice for the homeless, I must show mercy and bring peace where there is none and I must do this with humility. I must work towards fixing the inequality in wealth, freedom and opprtunity found between my own life and society and that of the poor in this country and around the world.

This is my story.