VOL 3 NO 4
OCT OBER- DECEMBER 2011
NEW COUNTRY NEW BEGINNINGS
AN ethical CHRISTMAS
PREPARING FOR THE
Eq UIP P I N G
m in is try
THE EyE OF THE EAGLE by David Adam www.amazon.com Based on the 12th century Celtic hymn, 'Be thou my vision' the author explores each line of the song to discover the spiritual riches that often are hidden from us in our busy lives. It includes meditation thoughts and exercises after the Celtic tradition.
AS FAR AS yOU CAN GO, BUT STILL BE IN GOD’S HANDS
THE OTHER wOMAN
Letters From Papua New Guinea
by Major JoAnn Streeter Shade
by Major Marcia Cocker
The book approaches the AbrahamSarah-Hagar triangle found in Genesis 16 and 21 through the eyes of the story’s characters. It explores relevant concerns such as jealousy, banishment, power, and rearing a strong-willed child. Through Hagar’s ancient story, contemporary women and men can see the hand of God connecting with Hagar to answer the angel’s question for themselves: ‘Where have you been and where are you going?’. Includes a website with Bible study resources and a retreat outline.
Majors Jim and Marcia Cocker served for three years with The Salvation Army in Papua New Guinea. This book is a collection of private journal entries and letters sent to family and friends during their time there. It gives readers a window into a people and culture still struggling to build a bridge between the Stone Age and the Digital Age. A story of God’s faithfulness and diversity in God’s Kingdom.
Exploring the Story of Hagar
FAMOUS PHRASES FROM THE BIBLE 2011 Bible Society www.bibleresources.co.uk
HOw I MET THE SALvATION ARMy True Stories of Christian Transformation www.shop.salvationarmy.org The book features the personal accounts of 96 individuals whose lives have been changed through the transforming power of Jesus Christ, and who have first encountered him through the ministry of The Salvation Army. Although the people described are in the United States, the stories could be duplicated around the world as the gospel is relevant in all cultures to all people.
THE COMMON PEOPLE’S GOSPEL by Gunpei Yamamuro www.amazon.co.uk The thought of a book translated from Japanese and written in 1899 having any relevance for today may be a valid thought. However, when written it sold three million copies in Japan alone. One editor described the book as having the ‘sharpness of a samurai’s sword, slashing through sophistication and indifference to expose basic spiritual truths. This is a classic reprint that applies today.
The year 2011 marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, one of the first editions of the Bible in English to be available and understandable to the common man. Many phrases from this translation have become part of the English language used today. This small book explains the origins and meaning of more than 300 phrases, such as ‘tested by fire’ and ‘washing one’s hands of something’.
Features 05 Preparing women for the future MAIN FEATURE
08 Tribute to Commissioner
‘Come and See’
WORLD PRESEDENT OF WOMEN’S MINISTRY
New country, new beginnings
O C TO B E R - D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 1
I did it! SPOTLIGHT ON SERVICE
15 Seven years to new life MY STORY
resources 11 We can be like them – advent CHILDREN’S MINISTRY
12 Celebrating an ethical Christmas ADULT RESOURCE
14 The things your eyes have seen TEEN MINISTRY
columns 17 Words, actions and relationships LEADERSHIP
19 Sorrow to significance SPIRITUAL LIFE
22 Holiday stress
02 Book reviews 04 The editor’s page 18 News 23 Release/ iQuote
Front cover: photo by Lieut-Colonel Laurie Robertson – of (from left) Aubrey Rowland, Lexie Wood and Christina Marshall Back cover: Luke 2: 15b in English and Swedish
A RESOURCE MAGAZINE FOR WOMEN IN MINISTRY AND MISSION Publisher: Commissioner Sue Swanson, World President of Women’s Ministries communicationssecretary,editor-in-chief,literarysecretary,ihQ: Lieut-Colonel Laurie Robertson editor: Lieut-Colonel Carolynne Chung Designer: Berni Georges © Linda Bond, General of The Salvation Army, 2011 Foundersofthesalvationarmy: William and Catherine Booth Printed in the UK by Lamport Gilbert Printers Ltd
thesalvationarmy International Headquarters 101 Queen Victoria Street London EC4V 4EH United Kingdom
Articles on any subject of interest to women in ministry are welcomed by the editor. To send an article, write to firstname.lastname@example.org Subscription details at www.salvationarmy.org/revive
CONTACT EMAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com
no fear Lieut-Colonel Carolynne Chung
hey were terrified’. Imagine being out on the hillside Is that why the angels’ message to the shepherds in the at night, away from light pollution and city noise. It is Christmas story is so universal? Fear strikes us all – fear of the dark, the warming fire crackles but nothing else is unknown or unexpected, fear of what may or may not be, fear of visible – until the skies explode with light and sound! what we cannot control or explain. Terror probably is an inadequate word to describe what those How perfectly God speaks to that fear at Christmas. He shepherds experienced! speaks to that which frightens and even terrifies us. And he says, I have been afraid, uneasy, even frightened. But I can only ‘do not be afraid, I bring you good news’ (Luke 2:9, NIV). think of one instance when I have been terrified – totally My young heart was calmed by my grandfather’s arms and incapable of rational thinking. my father’s voice. My terror was banished by those who knew the I was very young, perhaps four or five years old. I remember way – by those who loved me. being in a little boat on the ocean and it was very dark and This issue of Revive is full of ‘do not be afraid’ windy. Small boats and stormy weather do not go well messages – whether it is helping a child live out the together, no matter how reality of the Christmas story in their world or skilled the oarsmen may rejoicing with a woman in Taiwan who finds be. Steering a direct course real peace. to land is a challenge for the This message continues in the tribute to most experienced seaman. We the life and ministry of Commissioner Helen were going nowhere except up Clifton, whose vision birthed Revive. and down, up and down as each She lived life securely in the peace of large wave hit the bow of the boat. God’s love. As a child I was not a good ‘Do not be afraid’ will be heard in traveller and that night was no the midst of the stress of the season. exception. In the shadows of the darkness You will find the message in the even my young eyes could tell those waves stories of the young Girl Guards from Detroit who, because of the were not the gentle ones that usually lapped ‘FEAR DOES STRANGE Christmas story, are prepared for the sandy beach I played at in the summer and can face adulthood without sun. These were scary and I was sure they were THINGS TO US. IT IS fear. going to roll right over our small boat. I did not A NATURAL PROTECTIVE However you celebrate understand what was happening and I was Jesus’ coming to be among us, terrified! EMOTION’ may you know the peace that Then I felt the arms of my grandfather holding passes all understanding. me tightly. I heard my father’s voice directing the And may you pass his oarsmen to the shore he perceived ahead. Nothing else peace on to others in mattered. I rested in the strong arms that held me. I was this fearful world. comforted by the voice of my father who knew what to do. Terror slipped away, not because I understood what was happening but because I trusted the one who held me and the one who spoke. Fear does strange things to us. It is a natural protective emotion that can drive us to actions that either protect us or paralyse us to inaction and further danger.
ll oni Dor re Major AT RY O L TE R R IT TR U SA C EN
n e m o w g n i r a e r u t prep u f e h t r o f
or almost a century, thousands of girls have benefitted from the balanced four-fold emphasis of the Life-Saving Girl Guard programme – guarding the soul, mind, body and others. Those who think this might feel Florence Booth, wife of General Bramwell Booth, commenced the differently if they were to speak with young programme in 1915 in London, England. women who have completed the programme Patterned after the Boy Scout movement, and achieved its highest awards. They could originated by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, see the growth of character and leadership the Life-Saving Girl Guard programme was capacity in their lives as well as the quality designed to develop the moral character and of their service to others. To complete their activity emblems life skills of young women, while providing them with opportunities to serve their (badges) girls meet in a safe environment communities. The first troops in the United where they increase their knowledge and States of America were enrolled in New gain valuable life skills. Each task and York City in 1916 and then the programme activity emblem completed increases a girl’s self esteem and gives her confidence to spread across the country. With the many school, community and tackle bigger responsibilities. Service corps activity options available to girls projects provide opportunities to work today, some could question if the Girl Guard together. These activities increase social programme is still relevant or necessary. skills and cultivate caring hearts that result When leadership resources are limited or the in the girls helping others. corps activity schedule is full they may think this long- ‘THEY COULD SEE THE GROWTH standing programme has OF CHARACTER AND LEADERSHIP little value and should be CAPACITY IN THEIR LIVES’ eliminated or replaced.
Working toward higher awards, planning and holding troop fundraising events and hosting corps programmes provide leadership training for the girls. As they set goals, and work toward accomplishing them, the girls experience success and failure while being supported by caring leaders and troop members. Girls count on each other and their adult leaders for spiritual insight. Troop devotions, emblem work and time spent together in prayer contribute to God-honouring decisions and actions at school and home. From a practical perspective, a Girl Guard troop is easy to organise and inexpensive to implement. Training for leaders and programme resources are readily available and the programme’s structure provides flexibility for leaders to focus on the unique needs of their girls. Troop activities are a natural entry point for nonrevive 5
reveal Salvationist girls to become involved, learn biblical principles and be exposed to corps life when they might not be comfortable attending corps worship. Many women officers were first introduced to The Salvation Army’s holistic ministry and nurtured in their faith through the Girl Guard programme. Florence Booth would be glad to see the Girl Guard programme almost 100 years later, still practical and relevant for a new generation of women – with the same four-fold purpose: helping young women grow spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially.
Girl Guard aim I understand that as a Girl Guard: I will grow spiritually by increasing my knowledge of God through Bible study and prayer. I will grow mentally by being honest in my thoughts and actions and by developing the mind and talent God has given me. I will grow physically by protecting myself from all harmful substances and habits and by developing a healthy body. I will grow socially by being respectful, friendly, of service to others, and loyal to my country.
The General’s Guard Award is one of the highest awards that can be earned by a Girl Guard. It includes completion of several activities, including Bible study, community service and planning and leading group projects. General’s Guard Award recipients have their names registered in the General’s Guard roll book at The Salvation Army International Headquarters in London, England. Many of the major’s Girl Guards would agree with the following three ‘testimonies’ from General Guards in Royal Oak Corps, Michigan USA.
Major Toni Dorrell is currently the Girl Guard leader at the Oakbrook Terrace Corps, Illinois USA. 6 revive
Christina marshall My Name is Christina Marshall. I am a Girl Guard at Royal Oak Citadel. For my service project, I planned a party for a group of inner city Sunbeams (Brownies), aged 6-11 years. At the party, the girls were able to relax and have fun with their peers, doing different crafts, playing games and eating ‘yummy’ finger foods. By the end of the day, each girl’s face had a smile and you could tell she had enjoyed herself. While planning this party, I took on responsibilities I had never done before. It was all up to me to make this party a success. I could sink or swim. God worked through me, giving me patience, determination and creativity. He gave me the will to keep going when I felt I had too much to do. I thank him and all who helped me. I have gained so much from being a Girl Guard. I have been a Girl Guard for six years. I know I have matured and grown closer to God. I have also seen myself develop as a leader. These are skills that will be useful to me throughout my life.
aubrey rowland My name is Aubrey Rowland and I have been a Girl Guard at the Royal
Oak Citadel for six years. For my service project I planned a Hawaiian Princess Party for an inner city Sunbeam Troop. There were about 25 girls who showed up to do crafts, play games, get their nails done and do other activities. The girls’ smiles brought a sense of joy to me. I could tell they had a good time at the party. I never would have seen myself taking on such a big responsibility a couple years ago. Being a Girl Guard has made me mature in so many ways – emotionally, socially and spiritually. The programme has provided me with great skills for the future, wonderful experiences to develop in my future and amazing friends for a lifetime.
lexie Wood I’m Lexie Wood. For my service project I planned a mystery trip for my Girl Guard Troop at Royal Oak Citadel. It took me around seven months to complete the arrangements for this trip for all the girls. I decided to take them to the Double JJ Resort, an amusement park in Rothbury, Michigan. We stayed for three days and had activities such as horseback riding, a steak fry, took part in square dancing, went on scavenger hunts and visited a water park. I was able to test my leadership skills and proved I could organise a successful event! To me, being a Girl Guard gives me the environment to be myself. The leaders are very supportive and have encouraged me in my faith to become a stronger Christian.
I did it!
e? Lead a group of teenage create a safe and inviting environment for girls? Every week? Did God girls to face their own insecurities. Nothing really choose me to be the brings me greater joy as a leader, than to leader? Could I do it? My hear a young lady exclaim, ‘I did it’. These feelings of insecurity surfaced as I thought words may be said in our meetings on a of all that was involved in guiding young Thursday night, in a raft on the Ocoee girls towards responsible adulthood. Such River or navigating the London were my thoughts as I was challenged to Underground! take responsibility for the Girl Guard I am confident that any success we programme at my corps in Royal Oak, have experienced as a troop is directly Michigan, a suburb of Detroit in the midrelated to God’s faithfulness in working western United States. through the leaders and in the hearts of the Looking back on that day, after almost girls. 30 years of leading, I can see God’s After an event about 20 years ago, I direction. had three bushels of apples left over. Girl Guards is a scoutingHoping to raise funds for our type programme, which ‘WE WORK troop the girls, leaders and originated in 1915 in England parents now bake more than SO HARD 1,500 pies every November. I under the leadership of Florence Booth, wife of General TO DEVELOP was making plans to raise funds Bramwell Booth. Its aim then, for a field trip. God was CHRISTIAN building something greater! as now, was to provide enrichment for the body, mind CHARACTER After the first pie sale, our and spirit of girls 12-18 years of girls and leaders have been IN OUR age. First called ‘Life Saving blessed with many exciting Guards’, they and the opportunities. We’ve explored TEENS’ corresponding boys groups, Life New York City, learned our Saving Scouts, were modelled after the nation’s history in Washington, D.C. and newly formed scouting groups, founded by climbed mountains in Colorado. Since Lord Robert Baden-Powell. 2003, 20 girls and leaders have travelled to God has given me the gift of London, England to learn about their hospitality and I believe this is key to a Salvation Army heritage. Along the way, successful Girl Guard troop. My goal as a our girls have learned valuable life skills Girl Guard leader has always been to and developed their character. Most
importantly, they are part of a community that is actively seeking Christ. Working with Girl Guards presents many challenges. As I get older, I find keeping up with high-energy teens exhausting. There is heartache, too. We work so hard to develop Christian character in our teens, but sometimes they stray. In those moments, I am reminded that I am called to trust in the power of Jesus to change lives. I have been faithful in teaching our girls the truth, and trust his Word which says, ‘being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6, NIV). Almost 30 years after that first day in 1983, I am convinced that God chose me for this specific ministry – despite my insecurities. I’ve even exclaimed: ‘I did it!’ a few times along the way.
Jill Johnson USA CENTRAL TERRITORY
Commissioner Helen Clion Revive is what it is because of Commissioner Helen Clifton. Her vision and leadership brought Revive to women in ministry and mission. The following are portions of tributes from around the world.
Our sincere appreciation for the leadership that you have displayed to us during your term of oﬃce and for the love that you have shown to us and our families. You have taught us to pray and to bear each other’s joys and burdens.
We will always remember your great eﬀort to develop women in leadership roles.
e many faces around the world who’ve felt your loving touch, Have grown to call you ‘blessed’ and love you very much.
rough your leadership we have received many new ideas and guidance for our ministry. Especially we give thanks for your love and aﬀection towards all people.
H E L E N
opeful – ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.’ Romans 15:13
ncouragement – ‘Let us encourage one another.’ Hebrews 10:25
ove – ‘For she loved much.’ Luke 7:47 nthusiasm – ‘Your enthusiasm has stirred us to action.’ 2 Corinthians 9:2 oble – ‘You are a woman of noble character.’ Ruth 3:11
ank you for your ministry during this time, uniting us as one big Salvationist family under the wonderful bond of intercessory prayer and keeping us informed about the needs of our Christian sisters around the world. 8 revive
tude for your With love and grati fulness to the influence and faith y. May God’s Lord and the Arm u. We give Word encourage yo tiful life. au thanks for your be
guidance and ank you for your ’s ministry. You support of women acious leader are a gentle and gr r others. fo s who always care
tribute ank you for being a true re flection of God indescribable gi ’s – Jesus!
You committed yourself fully to see women’s ministries move forward through your leadership. You inspired many who are now committed to serve God.
Your love for w omen is apprec iated. You fought to st op the traﬃckin g of women throug h your campaig n against demeani ng newspaper advertising. Am ai, your caring spirit will never be fo rgotten. You jo ined with us as wom en and encourag ed us to pray for each other. You are a special vessel w ho has been us ed by God to bless m en, women and children around the world
God has used you in amazing ways through your gis and ministry that you dedicated to God and mankind.
‘Consistent, timely encouragement has the staggering magnetic power to draw an immortal soul to the God of hope – the one whose name is Wonderful Counsellor’ (Charles R. Swindoll).
Your presence added blessing to my life. You have le a lasting impression as W orld President of W omen’s Ministries. We will remember your spiritual leadership, godl y counsel and war m friendship.
We remember your good works. Rest – assured of being in God’s safe and able hands. Well done, Mamma!
Many thanks for your support to women, opening the eyes of all Salvationists around the world to the issues of traﬃcking and violence against women and children. Your sense of justice has given me a new vision for my ministry. I can’t find words to express my gratitude for your faithful support and love during the most diﬃcult time in my life.
You have touched my life and have had a profound influence on it in ways you will never know. I have seen God at work in you and through you. ank you for caring about women and girls all over the world. ank you for caring about women oﬃcers. ank you for who you are – a woman of God!
ank you for your testimony and ministry, especially for taking the lead in this great army of women, moving us forward by persistent and faithful communication.
Your faith in Jesus was evident in the love and encouragement you extended to all women. ‘He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn’ (Psalm 37:6, New Living Translation).
WOMEN’S MINISTRIES NEW YEAR MESSAGE
OFFICE OF THE WORLD PRESIDENT OF WOMEN’S MINISTRIES
Come&See ‘Do not be afraiD for i know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. he is not here; he has risen, just as he said. CoMe anD see the place where he lay. then go quickly and tell his disciples:’ Matthew 28:5-7b
Dear Sisters in Christ, Greetings to you all in the beautiful Name of Jesus! He is Lord! This New Year Message is sent to you with the prayer that God will bless you in deep and meaningful ways in the days ahead. Our exciting and inviting international theme ‘Come and See’, urges us all to seek more deeply after Jesus. We each know the blessing of Jesus’ kind invitation to come to him – the invitation that changed our lives. We were able to see the message of repentance, forgiveness, salvation and holy living. We were warmly welcomed. Jesus invited all to come to him and often the invitation was very personal: Peter, Nathanael, the Samaritan woman. This year may we focus our attention on finding holy ways to bring this invitation to our communities. We pray that all involved in women’s ministries will issue creative and intentional invitations to come and meet Jesus Christ. And what joy when we see!! We then want others to have the ‘eyes of (their) hearts enlightened, so that (they) will know what is the hope of his calling, what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.’ We will pray for many to have their spiritual eyes opened. May God bless us all in this New Year. Yours sincerely, Sue Swanson Commissioner WORLD PRESIDENT OF WOMEN’S MINISTRIES
ADVENT READINGS AND ACTIVITIES FOR CHILDREN Advent is a time of looking forward to something good. Children are experts at excitement in the weeks leading up to Christmas. These advent activities, all with a social justice theme, can direct their excitement away from what the world offers, and help them prepare for the true meaning of Jesus’ coming. The activities are suitable for individuals and groups with adult supervision.
The Angels Luke 1:30-33; Matthew 1:20-21; Luke 2:9-12 The angels had the joy of telling the good news! Many people don’t know anything about Jesus. This Christmas we can be like the angels and tell others the exciting good news! = Invite people in your neighbourhood to Christmas events at your corps. = Present the story of Jesus’ birth in a creative way to your friends. = Host a Christmas party for children who are new citizens to your country. = Pray for children who have never heard about Jesus.
we can be like them
Luke 2:1-5; Matthew 2:4-6 It was a long hard journey to Bethlehem. Mary was about to have a baby, but a census was ordered, so to Bethlehem they went. How could they have known that it was part of God’s plan? Many people are not able to be with family for Christmas. We can be like Joseph and Mary and help others experience home. = Make Christmas cards for people serving God in other countries. = Send small gifts to members of the military who are away from family. = Take gifts (puzzles/colouring books etc.) to children in the local hospital. = Pray for children who have been taken from their homes and are being forced to work.
Luke 2:8-20 For the shepherds it was just another day until the angels appeared with their message! They came to see the baby Jesus for themselves and then told their story to everyone they met! There are many people who long to share their story. We can be like the shepherds and listen to others. = Visit a senior care home. Tell people about your school, your pets and hobbies. Ask them to tell you their stories! = Befriend other young people who seem to be alone and have no friends. = Pray for children who are not able to go to school for some reason.
The Innkeeper Luke 2:6-7. So many people were in Bethlehem for the census that there was no room at the inn for Joseph and Mary. Yet the innkeeper made room for them in the stable – clearing away the old straw and making a nice fresh bed for Jesus in one of the mangers. Many people have no place to live. We can be like the innkeeper, sharing the warmth of a safe shelter. = Donate a care package for the homeless – including things like warm socks, gloves and blankets. = Donate new or as new condition used toys to a local shelter. = Donate canned goods to a local food bank. = Pray for children who are living in community shelters.
The Wise Men Matthew 2:1-12 The wise men lived in a far off country. They knew the Messiah was about to be born so they packed their camels for the journey and set out following the star, bringing gifts to honour him. We can be like the wise men and give gifts that share the love of Jesus. = Raise money to purchase a gift such as a goat or chickens or a well for water in another country. = Give fair-trade gifts such as chocolate and coffee or Sally Ann products. = Pray for children who are living in poverty.
Major Denise Walker CANADA AND BERMUDA TERRITORY
hristmas time is coming and we need to get ready! For many people in Canada Christmas means gift giving and much time and effort is spent in choosing the perfect present for family and friends. Some people will start their Christmas shopping early in the year while others wait until the last minute. In most Western countries gift giving is high on the agenda for the Christmas season. We may talk about the nativity and the real ‘Reason for the Season’ (the birth of Jesus), but we take this gift giving tradition very seriously! However, my own family underwent a major change in our gift-giving practice in 2007. In February of that year, I travelled to Mexico with a women’s ministry mission team. There we shared with Salvation Army officers who, with limited resources and at great personal cost, were reaching out to needy children in their neighbourhood. When we returned to Canada I shared my experiences with my husband and my three teenage children. As a family we decided to send the money we would normally spend on Christmas gifts to this ministry in Mexico. We didn’t tell them how to spend it; we just wanted to ‘gift’ it to them with no strings attached. This decision revolutionised our family Christmas gift giving practices and since then we have continued sharing beyond our family. Now, instead of everyone in the family getting many gifts, we each give and receive one gift. This means that what we would have previously spent on all the other family members we now share with people outside our family. While this gift giving practice is quite radical for most of us in the developed world, it does mean that we help others who usually would receive very little, or nothing, at Christmas. However, in coming to this new approach our family had to seriously consider the motivation behind our usual gift giving practices. This journey
Major Karen Hoeft CANADA AND BERMUDA TERRITORY
included discussing our values and why we give gifts. When we give Christmas gifts what values are we promoting intentionally or unintentionally? Most of us believe our gift giving shows our generosity, thoughtfulness, sacrifice and care. However, we may also subconsciously be promoting selfishness, materialism or even competitiveness. Gift giving is usually based on family or cultural traditions – which most of us would have rarely stopped to analyse. In working this through it is helpful to ask questions such as: ‘What is our real motivation to give gifts? Is it because we want to be loved, want to belong or don’t want to be excluded? Do we feel obligated to others or want to show off? Do we want to receive a gift in return or do we give because we have always done it – it is tradition?’ When doing this analysis we can also determine what kinds of gifts we want to give. We can choose to give ethical gifts and a search on the Internet will result in many websites selling eco-friendly gifts or charities with fair-trade gifts. Nowadays even local charity shops and shopping malls may offer products from fair-trade or income-generating projects.
‘WHEN WE GIVE CHRISTMAS GIFTS WHAT VALUES ARE WE PROMOTING?’
So when it comes to gifts, what does Scripture say? ‘Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows’ (James 1:16-17, NIV). What could be deceptive about the art of giving? The previous verses in James 1 talk about temptation that leads to death. The writer explains, ‘When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death’ (James 1:13-15, NIV). This is the great deception! Many motivations or desires are all about ‘me’ and not about ‘others’. Christmas, however, is about sacrifice, the Incarnation and the greatest gift ever given. The Creator became the created! The all-powerful one became dependent! He who was without sin came to pay the price of sin! The perfect gift was given – Jesus. Take time this Christmas season to consider how you celebrate Christmas. Is your Christmas celebration a commercial event? Or is Christmas a time of sharing God’s gift, Jesus, with family, friends and the world? May Jesus, the gift you receive this Christmas change your life forever and may the gifts you share with others come from a heart overflowing with gratitude. Merry Christmas!
Theme: Celebrating an ethic
al Christmas SCripTure: James 1:1 3-17 (NiV); Galatians 5:19-23 (The message) iNTroduCTioN: Wh at are your Christm as gift giving practices ? diSCuSSioN: Talk ab out the values you want to promote at Christmas time versus those values we often unintentionally endo rse. refleCTioN: Consi der the amazing an d perfect gift that wa s given which we celebrate at Christm as. ACTioN: how shall we then live? how do we act out the value s we want to promote? What will that look like this Christmas? Next Ch ristmas?
Major Karen Hoeft CANADA AND BERMUDA TERRITORY
hen I was a child December was a time of family celebrations. I remember our family gathering around the Christmas tree to read the Nativity story. I am thankful for my parents who taught me the deep treasures of the narrative and how to live my life in the knowledge of Emmanuel, ‘God with us’. The nativity never loses its appeal to children of all ages. Parents and those who work with teens have many opportunities to help them live out the wonder of Christmas. Scripture urges us: ‘Watch yourself closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them’ (Deuteronomy 4:9, NIV). There is a Chinese proverb that says one generation plants the tree; another gets the shade. In other words one generation teaches truths to the next generation that will protect the young in years to come. I am living in the shade of the trees planted by my parents and grandparents – the truths taught to me from previous generations as Scripture encourages. I am to some degree shaded by their moral standards, spiritual commitment, value system and their call to duty. As a tree gives protection to a person on a hot day, so we teach teens that the Word of God protects them from the world’s harmful influences. 14 revive
At this time many families have artificial or real Christmas trees in their homes trimmed with baubles or garlands collected or made through the years. The decorated Christmas trees remind us of what God gave us and what we pass on to the next generation to ‘shade’ them in their lives. How do we teach young people to be true and faithful in these days of weakening moral standards? The following ‘trees’ will shade and protect teens now and for the future. What better time than at Christmas to teach them: 1 They are loved by God (Romans 8:28). 2 They can remain in his love
(John 15:10). 3 Their thinking can be godly
(Philippians 4:8). 4 They can be strong and persevere
(2 Chronicles 15:7). 5 They are in progress. They can pray
for one another. (James 5:16). God is speaking to our young people today. They want to follow Jesus more closely; they strive to be like Christmas trees – providing protection and hope to those within their circle of influence. They desire to share with their friends that God loves them and demonstrated his love by sending his son Jesus! The Christmas story needs to go deep into teens’ hearts to help them bring hope and to free them to serve in the world.
ideas 1 Ask teens to write the Nativity story as ‘breaking news’ for television using PowerPoint, video or newspaper. Have them ‘interview’ the innkeeper, Joseph or the shepherds. 2 Have teens write the Christmas story for someone in another culture. How would the story be written in Lapland, in the Brazilian rainforest or in a desert community? 3 Have teens help nursery age toddlers to understand and act out the Nativity story. They can gather props and costumes from everyday items. 4 Have teens research and share the stories behind the Christmas carols they sing.
Major Mark Hall TERRITORIAL YOUTH SECRETARY CANADA AND BERMUDA TERRITORY
my story sisterhwang,wenhengworkswithpressed flowerstomakeBiblecharacterscomealive
he images on television screens of the devastation wrought by the earthquake and tsunami that hit northeast Japan on 11 March, 2011 caused an immediate response in the people of Puli, Taiwan. Even after 11 years the memories came flooding back. We could feel the pain caused by the disaster to the people of Japan. The images reminded us of an earthquake in 1999 which struck the Puli area of Taiwan. Now referred to as the 921 Earthquake (6.9 magnitude on the Richter scale), it destroyed much of the town and claimed thousands of lives. In the wake of this disaster my husband and I were appointed to Puli to assist The Salvation Army’s recovery work. Twelve months later, by the grace of
Captain Jenny Chen CORPS OFFICER, PULI CORPS, TAIWAN REGION
7 new life God, the Puli Corps Youth Services Centre and the Community Development Centre had been started. Today Puli Corps has a congregation of more than 230 people. You may ask how The Salvation Army’s evangelism and community service work have grown so well in this area. This can be attributed to the fact that The Salvation Army speaks to people’s needs in practical ways. Here is one story.
‘MOST WOMEN WORK FROM THEIR HOMES TO AUGMENT THE FAMILY’S INCOME’
Puli is a small agricultural township lacking industry, technology and reliable public transportation. Most women work from their homes to augment the family’s income. From the outset, Puli corps organised several women’s income generating programmes. I was particularly excited by the flower-pressing class – a women’s ministries programme which continues to be taught today. In the flowerpressing process fresh flowers used in the Sunday worship meetings are recycled. The dried flower petals are pressed and made into bookmarks and other products. revive 15
my story clockwisefromtopleft:preparingflowers forpressing;receivingencouragement fromcaptainJennychen;completed portraitofJesus’deathandresurrection; teachingyoungpeopleinthecorps,
‘MANY PEOPLE HAVE PRAISED THE BEAUTY OF HER CREATIONS’ The women then sell these products to augment their income. Hwang, Wen Heng was one woman who participated in the programme but not for financial needs. In fact, she was very rich, drove an expensive car, wore brandname outfits and lived in a beautiful mansion. She joined the programme purely because she was interested in the class and wanted to meet new friends. During the seven years she attended I tried to introduce her to Jesus Christ as Saviour, but she persistently dismissed my invitation. Then one day she just stopped attending the women’s ministries activities. I learned that her husband’s business had failed and that she was depressed with her situation, refusing to go anywhere. I decided to pay her a visit and encourage her come to the corps. It just so happened that we needed a new instructor for the flower-pressing class. I asked if she would accept the challenge and she agreed!
Two months later, I suggested she try combining the art of flower-pressing with illustrating Bible stories. She thought it to be too difficult, but she promised she would try. To help her with this we read the Scriptures together, concentrating on the life of Jesus in the New Testament. Little by little, through much prayer, discussion and Bible-reading, she completed many touching artworks with themes like ‘The Good Shepherd’, ‘Christ’s Prayer in Gethsemane’, ‘The Good Samaritan’, ‘Jesus on Good Friday’, ‘Jesus Knocking on the Door’ and ‘The Ninety-Nine Lambs’. It was after completing the picture of ‘Jesus on Good Friday’ that she told me she would not wait any longer. She wanted to accept Jesus Christ as her Saviour – immediately – after seven years! God had miraculously prepared her heart and led her to believe. I am so amazed with his faithfulness. Today Sister Hwang, Wen Heng is a Salvationist and actively serves the Lord.
Many people have praised the beauty of her creations, exclaiming, ‘This is incredible’! At first glance they have the appearance of oil paintings. People ask, ‘Where did you learn flower-pressing skills? Who’s your teacher?’ She never misses an opportunity to give her testimony saying, ‘I had a chance to acquire my skills at the women’s ministries programme of The Salvation Army, Puli Corps. But it is God who gave me the wisdom and blessings. God is the source of all my creative inspiration.
words, actions and
n any discussion about leadership it is important to remember and environmental. These crises call for effective visionary that there must be a relationship of trust between the leader leadership. People expect the Church to shine brighter as the world and her followers. In the Christian leader this will be marked becomes darker – to offer hope and direction in troubled times. It by qualities such as integrity, honesty, will take Spirit-filled, dedicated, dynamic and humility, character, and personal charisma. ‘THE ISSUES SOCIETY vibrant leadership to achieve this. While these qualities don’t make a leader, The world needs to see God’s governance they will be evident in the life of an effective FACES TODAY ARE in operation on earth, as it is in Heaven. Jesus leader. MORAL, ECONOMIC, was the earthly incarnation (God with us) of the Organisations depend on the quality of its invisible God. Likewise, he has sent us as his leaders. A leader who is able to see ahead and POLITICAL AND leaders into the world and expects us to be move her followers towards the future goal is ENVIRONMENTAL’ representative of him. Christ must be visible in called visionary. John Haggai, in his book our leadership. Scripture warns that ‘God-talk Lead on! Leadership That Endures in a Changing World describes without God-acts is outrageous nonsense’ (James 2:17 The visionary leadership as ‘the discipline of deliberately exerting Message). This verse means there must be consistency between the special influence within a group to move it toward goals that fulfil leader’s Christian profession and her directions. Trust is built the group’s real needs’. between leader and follower when a leader’s actions and faith A visionary leader moves people towards the goal not only agree. This is only possible if we who are called by his name will through their words and actions but also by the depth of their commit ourselves to following him. Will you accept God’s vision relationship with those she leads. for your leadership? Christian leadership is fulfilling the vision God gives you. Accepting the challenge to serve in this way is a commitment with We thank MArioN NdeTA for her God. It is not about serving self or gaining positions of authority, columns this year. but rather guiding followers towards the vision. The new columnist for 2012 will be Failure to act on this vision can be troubling to the spirit and LieuT-CoLoNeL SuSAN BukiewiCz, Divisional Director of deprive followers of the direction they need. Women’s Ministries, USA Central As a visionary leader we will light the path with the Word of Territory God and have an eternal and divine perspective to our actions. We see the need to understand the challenges of the age in which we live and study how God’s Word speaks to those needs. Marion Ndeta The issues society faces today are moral, economic, political KENYA EAST TERRITORY revive 17
COMMISSIONER GILLIAN BOSH General Linda Bond presented Commissioner Gillian Bosh (IHQ) with her long service badge, recognising 50 years of active officership. Asked for her comments on completing so many years of faithful service, the commissioner replied: ‘It’s all by the grace of God. He has provided grace sufficient for the journey. It’s been a great adventure and I would do it all over again!’
wORLDwIDE PRAyER MEETING In September General Linda Bond initiated the Worldwide Prayer Meeting. Each Thursday morning, between 5:00 am and 8:00 am Salvationists and friends around the world are invited to pray for 30 minutes, wherever they are, for The Salvation Army. Specific prayer topics are: 1 The need to deepen our spiritual life personally and as a people of God 2 In this economic climate, financial resources for our worldwide mission 3 Renewed passion to bring people to Jesus and lead them to maturity in him 4 The courage and compassion to stand for and serve the marginalised
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refresh spiritual life
Major Beth Twivey
sorrow to significance
AUSTRALIA EASTERN TERRITORY
here’s something about the story of Ruth that I love. I Having spent some years of my officership in Salvation Army don’t know whether it’s the fact that my mother bore centres assisting men with addictions I know the implications and her name or that there’s a love story within the wider consequences this has for the addict, their family, friends and other message it brings home. However, it may also be significant people in their life. The addiction can go on for years because Ruth’s story illustrates the triumph of courage over and years, sometimes kept secret, and if not dealt with it can have adverse circumstances. And on top of all this is the magnificent disastrous consequences. way that God’s Word allows us to see the continuing thread of the But back to the eulogy, tears came swiftly to my eyes as my generations woven through Ruth. cousin continued the story of this same man stumbling home after Yet how different the history may have read an evening at the local pub. He came across were it not for Ruth stepping into the unknown. ‘HE WOULD ‘DRINK’ an Army hall from where, more than likely, She was a Moabite woman who married into the the sounds of the band had got his attention. HIS PAY EACH WEEK’ He Israelite family of Elimilech and Naomi. This walked through the door, took a place at mixed marriage presented challenges as the Moabites were seen as the back and stayed to hear God’s Word preached by Thomas traditional enemies of the Israelites. Added to this pressure, grief Sutherland, one of William Booth’s evangelists. seized the family on a significant level as Ruth, Orpah (Ruth’s Once preached, the gospel’s transforming power was at work. sister-in-law) and Naomi all suffered the loss of their husbands. God’s Holy Spirit broke into my great-grandfather’s life and he and Naomi dealing with her own grief planned her return to her his family were never the same. own land and her hometown Bethlehem. She believed that Ruth The miracle of God’s grace is that in each ensuing generation and Orpah would want to stay in their own land with their own of my family, when influenced by the gospel, many have risen to people. Yet Ruth made the decision that she would remain loyal to faith and passed on the baton of influence and godly living from Naomi and go with her from the known to the unknown. generation to generation to generation. I stand in awe of what God Her commitment and devotion to Naomi is beautifully has done in the lives of those who have trusted in his sovereignty expressed in her words through the turmoil of exchanging their country of birth for another and the experiences of tragedy, grief and joy along the way. ‘Do not press me to leave you The story of Ruth celebrates something of this same or to turn back from following you! generational richness, with Ruth, a childless widow at the Where you go, I will go; beginning of the account eventually becoming the greatgrandmother of Israel’s greatest king, David. Where you lodge, I will lodge; The story of her family, and the way it endured despite Your people shall be my people misfortune, is a microcosm of the history of the Israelite people and your God my God’ who continued on regardless of all that happened to them. Even an (Ruth 1:16 NRSV). unlikely person like Ruth, a foreigner from the despised Moabite As the events of Ruth’s life unfold we can trace God’s hand in nation, could be used to move God’s plan a step further towards weaving all the elements together to bring about his ultimate plan completion. This biblical account illustrates the Christian hope that the for Ruth’s life and for the generations to follow. During the past 12 months I have been reminded of this sorrow of one generation can still ultimately culminate in generational blessing in my own family heritage. When I attended significance for another generation when salvation comes to the the funeral of my aunt Betty (my mother Ruth’s sister) my cousin house and God’s sovereignty is trusted above all else. who delivered the eulogy retold the story of a defining moment for our family. In the early 1880s our great-grandfather and his family lived in the northern English village of Spennymoor, County We thank MAJOR BETH TWIVEY for her columns this year. Durham. Great-grandfather was a coal miner and heavy drinker of The new columnist for 2012 will be MAJOR MOLVIE GRAHAM, alcohol who would ‘drink’ his pay each week. What sorrow this Editor, Caribbean Territory. must have caused. revive 19
Colonel Eva Kleman TERRITORIAL SECRETARY FOR WOMEN’S MINISTRIES
eginning life in a new country made for another week the following year. often means that every day is a The purpose of the camp was two-fold: challenge. There is a new to create relationships between the language to learn, a new families of the centre and corps and to culture to adopt and new customs to provide a safe and relaxing retreat for understand. Doing all this, while keeping them. your family unit strong can be daunting. In speaking about the camp corps The Salvation Army’s Akalla centre in officer Major Candace Voller says; ‘The Sweden seeks to assist refugee families programme looks like any church camp integrate into their new homeland. Centre although we know that not all who staff and volunteers from the local attended were familiar with the Christian Salvation Army corps work with families faith. Activities included morning prayers, to encourage and help them in their new children’s church, scrap booking and country. quilting for the ladies, daily Bible studies, During the summer of 2010 The free time for families to enjoy the beach Salvation Army Vasa Corps invited and evening worship.’ families from the Akalla centre to a The major continues, ‘Many families holiday on the sunny island of Öland. from Akalla were from different faiths so Families from both the corps and centre we focused on topics such as, Why is the joined together for a week of fun, refreshment ‘MANY OF THE FAMILIES WHO and community building. ATTENDED THE CAMP CAME FROM The camp was such a VERY CHALLENGING SITUATIONS’ success that plans were
Bible important? and Who is Jesus? for the studies. The subject of prayer was taught through a prayer walk. We divided into small groups and walked through the camp, stopping at various locations where a leader shared Bible verses prayed. It was important to share Jesus even while respecting the different cultures and faiths. ‘One day everyone at the camp went on an outing to the zoo and water park. It was a day of fun and adventure. Another highlight activity was a Hawaiian luau, with families dressed in their best
left:womenatcampenjoyscrapbooking together;centre:ayoungcamperwonderswhat thepaintedfloweronherfacewilllooklike; right:newfriendshipsareformedwhile buildingsandcastlesonthebeach
Hawaiian outfits, participating in limbo dancing and face painting, says Major Candace. It was a challenge to fund the camp as most refugee families are without economic resources. Each person was asked to pay a small amount towards the cost and the rest of the budget was covered through other sources. There were countless benefits coming out of the week – many of which have been evident throughout the year since the camp. Last year 130 people came to the camp, half from Akalla centre and the rest from the corps. How was interaction between people of such different backgrounds made possible? Major Candace explains, ‘Each day saw people spending more and more time sitting together and talking with one another. We saw this happen particularly during meals and free time. In the everyday life at the centre and corps this had been more of a struggle. Today we are all working together to establish a stronger partnership by inviting families to the corps for special events, and the gospel choir and band have supported special events at Akalla. ‘When those who have been to camp come to the corps they recognise each
other. They greet one another with hugs and spend time catching up on life. I have met women from the Akalla centre while travelling on the bus. One morning I met a woman from the camp in the city. We greeted each other with big smiles and a hug! Even in small ways, God used that encounter to encourage each of us. ‘Many of the families who attended the camp came from very challenging situations. They have difficult lives and this camp provided a holiday and an opportunity for families to enjoy being together. Many found comfort and strength through the prayers of others. Others were able to find much needed physical rest.’ Major Candace is quick to share her most precious memory of the first camp. ‘It has to be the prayer walk. As the families stood on a pier overlooking the sea the leader talked about the forgiveness of sin offered to each one of us by Jesus Christ. As she began reading from Psalm 103:12, ‘As far as the east is from the
west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us’ (NIV), the sun began to set over the sea. Many were simply speechless as they threw a stone selected from the shore into the sea, representing their forgiveness in Christ. ‘Although this was the first combined camp for the corps and centre, there has been a long working relationship between them. Breaking cultural, racial and religious barriers takes time. I feel it has opened doors. The next time we are all together it will even be better’, says the major.
Colonel Eva Kleman SWEDEN AND LATVIA TERRITORY
nly 12 more days to Christmas’ says the announcer on the radio. ‘Oh dear’ I sigh. My heart races; my muscles tense and I feel the beginning of a To manage our stress response consider the headache. What will I buy my uncle this year? following actions Where will my brother and his family sleep when they visit? = Be aware of what you are feeling – learn to listen to How will I cope with my parents-in law on Christmas Day? My your body. house never seems to be clean enough for them. My mother-in= Identify the reason for this response. Do you assume that law always goes straight to the kitchen and starts cleaning.’ For others believe you are an inadequate housekeeper or do many families holiday time, especially Christmas can be a time you think you should do everything yourself and not of great celebration as well as a time of stress. accept any help? Psalm 139 declares that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully = Challenge unrealistic and unhelpful thoughts and made’ (verse 14). God designed our bodies in a unique way. Our behaviours. Others probably don’t think of the tidiness emotions and feelings alert us that something is happening and of our home: they know you are busy and just want to we can choose our response. be helpful. The physical sensations described in the opening paragraph = Change your thinking or behaviour. are part of our stress response. In days long ago they alerted us to danger and prepared our bodies to face When Jesus visited the home of Mary and danger by fleeing, fighting or freezing. Today ‘OUR EMOTIONS Martha (Luke 10:38-42), Martha was busy in the the challenges we face can be physical, kitchen getting ready for their guest and feeling emotional or relational. These may cause one AND FEELINGS flustered and pressured. Mary was enjoying the or more responses in our bodies – the heart ALERT US THAT company of Jesus. may beat faster, blood pressure may rise, the Christmas can be a stressful time. The world breathing rate may increase, muscles tense, SOMETHING IS focuses on the outward decorations of the season. digestion processes may slow, or thoughts race. HAPPENING’ Our minds may remember past celebrations and try All these reactions make us aware that something is going on that we need to resolve. Stress is not a to duplicate the happy experiences of childhood. Our hearts may person, an event or a situation. Stress is a response to these feel caught between satisfying the world’s expectations and our things. We all react differently to people, situations, and events. own ideas of ‘the perfect day’. Let us realise what is happening to In the example given earlier, being able to spend time with us and concentrate on what God can do nieces and nephews could be an enjoyable experience. Having in us and through us when we celebrate your mother-in-law visit, willing to assist with the household his coming again this year. work may be a wonderful blessing. When planning family gatherings or holiday celebrations it is easy to have dreams of ‘the perfect day’. Our expectations can be unrealistic as we rush around trying to please everyone and Major Christine Unicomb AUSTRALIA EASTERN TERRITORY complete all the preparations in time.
Three new versions of the Bible have been produced by the Bible Society. All are available at www.www.bibleresources.org.uk or local Bible bookstores. English Standard Version Study Bible Includes many special features, one of which is access to interactive study resources online
The Highlighted Freedom Bible More than 3,500 highlighted verses reveal the Bible’s message of freedom (Contemporary English Version)
‘Be bold for Christ! Be brave for Christ! Be beautiful for Christ, in the beauty of holiness!’ Commissioner Helen Clifton, March, 2011
Born in the east and clothed in oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of the world with familiar feet and enters land after land to find its own everywhere. it has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man. Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wise men ponder them as parables of life. The wicked and proud tremble at its warnings, but to the wounded and penitent it has a mother’s voice. No man is poor or desolate who has this treasure for his own. Henry Van dyke
The Poverty and Justice Bible More than 2,000 verses highlighting issues of poverty and justice (Contemporary English Version)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (Psalm 119:105, King James Version)
Most people are bothered by those passages of Scripture they do not understand, but the passages that bother me are those i do understand. Mark Twain
i know the BiBLe is inspired because it inspires me. d L Moody
‘Låt oss gå in till Betlehem och se det som har hänt och som Herren har låtit oss veta! Lukas 2:15
‘Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.’ (Luke 2:15b New Century Translation)