Church Family Newsletter | July 8, 2022
I'm writing this little reflection from camp. I am so proud of all the children here. These have been intense days - a full schedule of activities and classes - requiring concentration and focus. They are being stretched by learning new skills or by increasing their skills as they are preparing for their performances at the end of the week.
It is not easy for everyone, but most kids have embraced the opportunities given to them. They are mostly trusting and are open to the process. Some of the kids are anxious to perform in front of everyone, but I have assured them that they will be relieved and have a sense of accomplishment for doing it. It has been a pleasure spending time with these kids and I am so proud of them.
I wonder if we as adults are still open to growing and learning. Are we trusting of the process? Are we willing to do new things? Are we willing to put ourselves out there? If you have an opportunity before you, are you one to take it?
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)
When we hear the word "prosper", we may think of financial success or flourishing physically, but the Greek meaning of the word actually means to "help on the road".
Just as the kids are relying on the camp staff and music staff to have a fun, safe, and productive experience, so must we rely on the Lord and his plans for us.
We will see you all soon!
Major AnnMarguerite Jones
Pray Without Ceasing
“…pray without ceasing…” (KJV)
“…pray continually…” (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 5:17
“But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (KJV)
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (NIV)
I recently had a conversation with a friend who was worried that the intensity and repetition of her prayers on behalf of her friend might be crossing the line of a lack of trust and maybe even heckling God, and asked for my opinion based on scripture. I immediately thought of the two scriptures quoted above and tried to formulate helpful thoughts based on them.
After prayer I offered the following guidance:
- Prayer is a conversation with God. It’s listening when He speaks and presenting our point of view. He gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason — we should listen twice as much as we speak!
- We have to respect the power dynamic here. God is God, we are not. (c.f. Isaiah 55:8) This means His point of view trumps anything we come up with. Although we may be passionate about the solution we conceive, we do not know better or think of solutions He can’t. Also, if we don’t believe He is a caring God of love, why do we bother to pray?
- God hears and answers all prayers. “… your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:8, NIV) Sometimes He says “yes", sometimes “no", sometimes "not yet”, and sometimes “I have a better way”.
- When we ask God for something it only has a chance of being answered in the way we want if it is in God’s will. “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:14 NIV So there is no point in asking God to do something obviously sinful or against His revealed character or scripture. It’s just not going to happen, so there’s no point in getting bent out of shape because it’s not the way we would do it. (See point 2 above.) So, if what we want is not happening, we should assume the request was either not in his will or the timing is in the future, but never that God isn’t listening. Ask for clarification - that’s a conversation!
- God wants us to be in dialogue with him, but he wants us to trust him. To repeat — He heard our request before we made the request. Prayer is for our benefit. It is a means of expressing and strengthening our faith that he is working everything out for good for those who love him.
- Given points 3 and 5, once we have asked, we should not pray in a way that assumes he didn’t hear us the first time. Trying to wear God down by using some formula of words just shows a lack of faith or understanding of who he really is. Also, it inevitably leads to more frustration. Just asking for the same thing over and over can be what the Bible calls “vain repetition” because it assumes that by repetition we can wear God down to get him to do what we want. The (sinful) assumption here is that we know better and God is just being stubborn.
- It is okay to ask for status updates on our requests! Knowing and believing that our original prayer is heard and answered (yes, the timing may not be obvious to us), it can strengthen our faith to ask if there is any further light he would like to share on our request either through the scripture, his people, or direct revelation. However, be sure to give thanks for the answer!
- Above all, it is important to release our concern into his keeping and will. He will dispose of our request in a fair and loving way consistent with his glory. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, NIV) It might be fruitful to ask if there is anything else we should be doing to further his will in answer to our request.
- Interestingly the scripture tells us to "pray without ceasing (or continually)”, which does not mean to just repeat the same request over and over but to exercise the "privilege to carry everything to God in prayer” on a continual basis. That way we are in constant dialogue, which is, after all, what God wants from his creation.
Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
uttered or unexpressed;
the motion of a hidden fire
that trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
that infant lips can try,
prayer the sublimest strains that reach
the Majesty on high.
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
the Christian's native air,
his watchword at the gates of death:
he enters heaven with prayer.
James Montgomery SASB #784
It is my prayer that my words will encourage you to find greater joy in dialog with your creator.
Blessings on you and yours,
This will take you to Jim Black's collection of articles since starting the newsletter.
Meet the West's New Chief Secretary and Secretary for Women's Ministries
Lt. Colonels Eddie and Genevera Vincent will take up new roles on Sept. 1 as the West’s Chief Secretary and Territorial Secretary for Women’s Ministries, respectively, with the rank of colonel. Officers of the Canada and Bermuda Territory, the Vincents come to the West from appointment as divisional leaders of the Newfoundland and Labrador Division, where they have served for the past six years.
Commissioned in 1986 in Newfoundland, the Vincents were married the following year. They have served in a range of appointments, including 19 years as corps officers, seven years as divisional youth leaders, and as territorial personnel officers. The Vincents have two grown sons, both living in Calgary, Alberta.
New Frontier Chronicle caught up with the Vincents as they prepare to be leaders in the West.
Why do you love The Salvation Army?
Eddie: I was born and raised in The Salvation Army and firmly believe it was raised up by God to be a movement to meet the temporal and spiritual needs of humanity. The Salvation Army is the place of my spiritual beginnings and is the vehicle through which I am enabled to live out my calling to full-time service to God. It is also a place where I have enjoyed rich relationships, fulfillment in ministry and empowerment for continued growth and development. The international flavor of our organization creates a bond with people all around the world that would not be realized otherwise.
Genevera: I love The Salvation Army for its “Heart to God and Hand to Man.” The health of any Church organization is dependent on our love for God first and a love for his people. I believe The Salvation Army does both and that makes me proud to say I belong to The Salvation Army!
How has God prepared you for this role?
Eddie: I would highlight three critical factors God has used to prepared me for this new role—God’s provision, ministry experience and personal leadership development opportunities. Without God’s provision of wisdom, strength, and grace, I could never succeed as an officer in any appointment. This is the foundation stone upon which I stand when engaging in all leadership opportunities. Experience should be one of our greatest sources of learning and I am grateful to The Salvation Army for a variety of ministry and leadership opportunities afforded me over the past 36 years. Complementing God’s provision and ministry experience are the many formal and informal leadership development initiatives I have been able to pursue. One of my personal favorites is the Arrow journey, which I completed in 2015. I am continuing this journey of development by presently working toward a master’s degree in leadership.
Genevera: Over the years, I have engaged in several leadership development initiatives—Arrow, Leadership Development through Simon Frazer University, as well as biblical courses through Booth University College. In addition to education courses, I believe my previous appointments have played a huge role in my development, sometimes learning how not to do things by the mistakes I’ve made along the way! Every appointment has led me to rely upon God and his calling upon my life. This role is no different; I come to this role depending on God to supply what I lack. I have learned so much from others over the years and believe that my engagement with knowledgeable people around me will continue to prepare me for what’s ahead.
What Scripture do you most rely on?
Eddie: There are numerous favorite Scriptures upon which I rely for life and leadership. The verses that immediately come to mind are the familiar words from Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Genevera: I have many Scriptures that I go to often, depending on the circumstances I face, but the one that speaks deeply to my heart is Psalm 18:2, The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
What are you excited for in this new role in the West?
Eddie: I am excited about the opportunity to meet new ministry and leadership partners, and to engage with a team that desires to support and live out the mission of The Salvation Army in the USA Western Territory. While I know there will be many challenges, I look forward to facing these as a team, which I understand to be a strength of the USA Western leadership personnel. On a personal note, we have vacationed in this area and stated that this is a location in which we would be happy to serve.
Genevera: Can I say, living in beautiful, sunny California excites me! I have been involved in Women’s Ministry for 36 years, as a leader and sometimes as a participant. I believe in Women’s Ministry and feel that what was true for the early days of the Army in acknowledging that if you minister to the woman, you have a reach into the whole family, is still true for today. Women have so much to offer the world through caring, nurturing spirits and we need to capitalize on that. The privilege of partnering with women leaders in the USA Western Territory to continue to highlight and dream of new and innovative ways to do Women’s Ministry excites me.
What is something people might not know about you?
Eddie: Since we are unknown to the territory, probably just about everything. As a starting point, I grew up in a small outport community, the son of a fisherman. In my teen years, I planned to be a police officer. Well, I did get the uniform and the officer title, even if I didn’t get the cruiser to drive!
Genevera: There will be many things people do not know about me, but for now I will say that I grew up in a small fishing village in Newfoundland where The Salvation Army was the only church. I came to faith as a young child, and my call to officership was a childhood calling.
The Vincents’ predecessors, Colonels Kelly and Donna Igleheart, will become USA Southern Territorial Commander and Territorial President of Women’s Ministries, respectively, on Sept. 1 with the rank of Commissioner.
This Week's Schedule
- 10:00 AM - Sunday School - Classroom 3
- 10:15 AM - Prayer Time - Prayer Room
- 11:00 AM - Worship Service & Music Camp Report - Chapel
- 12:15 PM - Fellowship Time
- 6:00 PM - Men's Bible Study - Fireside Room
- Women's Bible Study, Band Rehearsals, and Songsters Rehearsals are on summer hiatus.
- 10:00 AM - CAMEO: VBS Prep (Service Project) - In Person Only
- 12:00 PM - Child Safety Training with Teen Volunteers - Fireside Room
- NOTE: Donations of backpacks for the Back to School Giveaway are due this day. Drop them off in the front office.
Music & Worship Arts Camp
ONE MORE WEEK TO REGISTER!
Backpacks and supplies will be given out on Saturday, July 23rd. See the flyer below. Free haircuts will be provided by the Paul Mitchell Design Team. Students wanting a haircut will need to make an appointment. There are limited spaces. Use the link below.
Free haircuts for students before going back to school in the fall.
All California Men's Retreat
LOCATION: Hume Lake Christian Conference Center https://hume.org/
REGISTRATION: Those interested in going must let us know as we need to send in our preliminary numbers to DHQ by June 23.
Click here to share your requests. Requests will be prayed for in our Prayer Room and distributed through our Prayer Chain. Requests can be made anonymously.
You can make a tithe payment, give an offering, or donate towards the World Services fund.