As this is my first pastoral letter since I took office as General in April, I want to share a personal word with you and also emphasise what we hold in common.
My upbringing in the New Aberdeen Corps in Nova Scotia, Canada provided me with a clear understanding of the gospel of Jesus. As a child, I was not only aware that I could accept him as my Saviour but was trained to serve him. That service ultimately led me to say yes to the Lord's clear call to be an officer. A variety of appointments over these past 42 years have proven that the Lord opens doors of opportunity and gives great fulfilment and blessing. As Lord and Saviour, he never disappoints. Obeying him, trusting him and living for him are my greatest joys.
No doubt you also have had a personal encounter with the Lord that has changed the course of your life. Every experience is different but what we share in common is that we serve him together in The Salvation Army.
We are blessed with a wonderful heritage and the future is as bright as the promises of God. Yet the present connects both, does it not? We build on the past and chart a course for the future by our faithfulness to his mission in the present. Surely we all desire to be part of a Spirit-filled Army of the 21st century! Much depends on our own response to the Spirit but we can never imagine what God has in store for the Army he raised up. We need to seek him, keep in step with his Spirit and make his mission our priority.
Very soon you will be hearing from your territorial/command leaders about a way in which we can meet together in prayer. Commencing 1 September, we will begin to hold a weekly 30-minute international prayer meeting on Thursdays. Territories and commands have been asked to choose a half hour between 5 and 8 o'clock in the morning and will be urging Salvationists to pray for the Army and our mission priorities. Because we serve in so many different time zones, there is the possibility that for all or most of every Thursday, the Army will be at prayer. I hope you too will be joining us, in groups or individually. There will be information coming soon on the General's website. I will be joining with staff at International Headquarters at 7.30am, London time.
I close this letter with one of my favourite verses of Scripture; Psalm 143:8: 'Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you'. The psalmist whispered this prayer in the midst of adverse circumstances. However, it can be prayed every day, in the best of times and the worst of times. And it will be a prayer that God will always answer. May you delight in his love, be secure in it and share it.
God bless you richly,