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    International Insight

    General Linda Bond's second installment of Sharing the Vision, written to Salvationists around the world. August 23, 2011 by General Linda Bond
    Filed Under:
    Opinion & Critical Thought


    Dear Salvationists:

    Very shortly I will commence international travel to Africa, South America East, New York and several countries in Europe. I look forward to seeing the Army around the world. What wonderful opportunities to learn and to minister! I will want to share some insights from these visits with you.  These letters will also keep you informed on what is happening with regards to our international vision and associated action steps as well as soliciting your intercession for specific prayer topics. Of course, the pastoral tone of these letters will continue. To incorporate these emphases, I will in future publish this letter under the caption, Sharing the Vision.

    When in London, England, I attend the corps near my home. The congregation is very diverse when it comes to culture, age, economic standing, personal needs and knowledge of the Army.  Sometimes, looking around, you would wonder how such a different group of people could be called a family but we are. The worship service gives quality time to greeting each other, prayer and testimony and is followed by fellowship around a cup of coffee. It is all so authentic, warm and relevant. The preaching is exceptional and the word is not just exhortation but sound teaching. Time is given to the sermon.  Then there is the mercy seat appeal. Again, no rush. Though I have only been able to attend the corps a few times, I have witnessed some very moving responses. The week's programs offer an array of ministry for body, mind and soul. The corps carries the needs of the world and the community on its heart. Its intercession and practical service are convincing proof of its dedication. In describing the corps where I soldier, I hope I have described yours. What I have always loved about the Army is that soldiers of all ages are involved in our worship and service.

    Our time together with the family of God is integral to who we are. We are nourished by the worship, the fellowship, the sermon. Yet the personal spiritual journey needs consistent attention as well. Eugene Peterson (translator of The Message) said, 'The Bible is given to us in the first place simply to invite us to make ourselves at home in the world of God…and become familiar with the way God speaks and the ways in which we answer him with our lives.'

    I encourage you to spend time each day entering into his sacred space, through his word and prayer.  Jesus advised us about these private encounters: But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.  (Matthew 6:6) For me, the room is the Scriptures.  Make yourself at home there. Discover him; hear him speak; see the world from his point of view. Jesus goes on to say, 'Then the Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.' His greatest reward is the reality of his presence!  May you experience the joy of it this day.

    God bless you richly.

    Sincerely,

    Linda Bond
    General

    Click here to read other installments of Sharing the Vision.

    Comment

    On Sunday, September 11, 2011, Major Thomas Hinzman said:

    My dear General,

    These are exciting days that we are called to minister. Be assured of our prayers for you and for this Army of Salvation that God has raised up. I look forward to your letters, "Sharing The Vision."

    You blessed us all during your recent visit at the "Welcome to the Cadets" in NY. Two of our sons are First-year Cadets, Brennen & Christopher Hinzman. We are grateful for the Lord's leading in their lives. We have been blessed way more than we ever deserve.

    Something you said at the Cadet's Welcome continues to ring in my mind... "We must testify that our heart-beat is the heart-beat of Jesus, and we must not be ashamed of it!" (Lord forgive me for the times that I have failed You.) Most importantly, we must be sensative to that heart-beat.

    Christopher was sharing with Brennen outside NY Centennial Temple that his heart was beating hard because here we were, hundreds of soldiers, officers and cadets, on the streets of New York City, and because we were so excited to see and fellowship with each other, those who were hurting and searching were passing by us. I must say again, Lord, forgive me for failing You at that moment. I too was one who was congregating with friends before the meeting, not paying much attention to those that the Lord may have sent by my way to speak words of hope and love and invitation to Him.

    After speaking with Brennen, Christopher went toward an older lady that was passing by, so that he could witness. He found that she was very familiar with The Salvation Army and was planning to visit the meeting to welcome the new Cadets. Brennen approached a gentleman sitting on the stairs to the Temple to share a moment with him. Their heart-beat was in sync with the Lord's and He was about to show His glory to two individuals.

    During Brennen's conversation, he discovered that the homeless man was a writer and that he came to NY, at the request of some publishers to publish his work, only to find himself on the streets. Earlier in the week, you had signed Brennen's Bible. Now with this man, Brennen shared some Scripture with him and then closes his conversation by asking if he had a Bible? After he responded no, Brennen quickly held out his hand with his Bible and said, "The Lord wants you to have this." He instantly remembered that this was the Bible you had just signed and just smiled in contentment.

    I thank the Lord that our young people are not ashamed of their shared heart-beat with Jesus! We truly are... ONE ARMY, on ONE MISSION, with ONE MESSAGE!

    May the Lord continue to bless you in your travels and ministry ... and may God bless The Salvation Army!

    Messenger Of Joy....

    Tom

    On Thursday, August 25, 2011, Rodey said:

    How refreshing to read General Linda Bond's commentary quoting "The worship service gives quality time to greeting each other, prayer and testimony and is followed by fellowship around a cup of coffee. It is all so authentic, warm and relevant. The preaching is exceptional and the word is not just exhortation but sound teaching. Time is given to the sermon. Then there is the mercy seat appeal. Again, no rush."

    Wow! what a concept that really needs to be considered as we look at our Corps worship experiences. That of 'quality time to greeting each other, prayer, and testimony followed by felowship.' Also that of 'sound teaching' whereby quality time is also given to the sermon and that of the 'use of the mercy seat' with no rush!

    I find this to be both challenging and refreshing in that, that's what the Army has been used to. (or at least the Army that I was prayed into!)

    Hallelujah, I hope that all of us, lay persons, and Officers alike will take to heart what General Linda Bond is saying!

    If we do, I believe the Kingdom of God will certainly grow and be extended through the endevours of The Salvation Army!

    Fire a Volley!

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