Today two friends of mine... Kenny & Sarah Allan... are commissioned as Officers (aka Ministers) in the Salvation Army. They are part of the "Prayer Warriors" session... and despite some of my views on the clerical/lay divide... I am proud of them and wish them God's richest blessing as the follow what He wants for their lives.
I thought I'd give them some advice. Completely unsolicited but hopefully of benefit. This advice comes in the shape of three quotes:
"I cannot believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all."Leo Rosten
I know my friends stand for something... or, should I say, someone... and my prayer is that they do not lose sight of Him and their purpose on this earth. I hope they remain as useful as salt that hasn't lost its saltiness... or light that hasn't been covered.
"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things."An Apple advert
God is no fan of the status quo... when this status quo ignores justice for the poor and emphasises a vacant "look at me" spirituality. I hope my friends aren't either. We need to keep growing, evolving, developing, reforming, and being transformed through the renewing of our minds. My prayer is that my friends make change happen within the Salvation Army.
"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."Philipians 4: 8-9 (Message)
I pray my friends that this verse to heart... and yearn for the best and not the worst. As leaders it is easy to be dragged into the dirt, the gossip, the malicious; whilst forgetting all that is beautiful and worthy of extol. I hope that this never happens... and that they align themselves with God's ways in excellent harmony.
God bless you guys.