Hope for Action
By James Knaggs, Commissioner
The beginning of the year gives us an appropriate opportunity to reconsider our hopes and expectations going forward.
In a sentence, I’m hoping to see God at work among us in extraordinary ways. He is, you know, always amazing us with his grace even if we are not as cognizant of his involvement.
This hope for evidence of his work is a vote for miracle-producing results filled with action on his part and ours. When his hand is apparent around us, we will see people’s lives transformed, energetically moving forward to what God wants—to glorify him and complete his hope in us.
Is it possible that we could all share this hope and act upon it in faith? The Bible reminds us that faith without works is pointless. So is hope without faith. Faith and hope are inextricably linked, working in tandem to realize all that God has for us.
Let this year, then, be marked by a wide hope, a deep faith and active life application. Let the world see and know that God is alive among us, thrilling us with his provision, power and presence. Then let us actively welcome those who are so impressed to join us with their faith in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Hallelujah!
—Commissioner James Knaggs is
the Western territorial commander.
Looking down the road, what’s next?
By Diane O’Brien, Lt. Colonel
The request came just before Christmas. Would I write something about my hopes for 2012?
I have so many hopes!
One suggestion was that these hopes be related to society or the Army world. I say, “too big.”
As I sit at my desk I look down the road on a peaceful seascape—actually I have been fortunate to be able to say that about all my desks for decades! It looks lovely: soft sand beach, palm trees, blue sea, just a few clouds.
But I’m told it’s not like that when you actually walk on the beach. A friend of mine said that picnickers in the area at which I now gaze often forget to remove their garbage. I’m told that political demonstrations sometimes take place in the streets around here and that violent movies use this area for filming.
I, however, prefer my ivory tower!
My hope is that the world will be more like the vision from my window. For that to happen I guess I should be the one to go down to the beach and pick up some trash, at least figuratively speaking. This, then, is my prayer for 2012:
Let it begin with me,
Let me your servant be;
I’ll share your love with one, just one at time.
Helping your kingdom build
And so your will fulfill.
Let it begin with one, just one at a time.
—Lt. Colonel Diane O’Brien is the Western
Territory’s secretary for community care, older
adult ministries and women’s auxiliaries.
By Tim Foley, Major
Lately, the idea of being strong and courageous has occupied my mind since I spent some time studying the Old Testament book of Joshua.
On the verge of entering the Promised Land and about to assume the mantle of leadership, Joshua receives encouragement from God: “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land” (Joshua 1:5-6a NIV).
For extra good measure, God offers further encouragement in verse 7: “Be strong and very courageous.” Joshua would need all the strength and courage he could muster to lead 2 million people into a new and very strange land
The word “strong” here calls forth an image of being mighty, irresistible, impregnable, constant. For Joshua, this message from God includes the idea of being resolute in everything he is about to do—to act with great spirit and undaunted courage.
Every New Year brings the hope of new opportunities. Doors to new adventures are unlocked. Sometimes when we begin to walk through those doors we see monumental challenges that can knock us down after taking only one step.
Success comes to you in your life when you realize that while indeed life’s challenges are difficult, you can draw on the presence of God to give you strength. That comes as you develop a life of deep communion through prayer and a commitment to not only reading God’s Word, but also obeying it.
My hope is that you will be strong in the tasks ahead of you. Call upon the name of the Lord who is indeed mighty to save and who will give you all the strength and courage you need at the right time.
Major Tim Foley is training principal at the West’s College for Officer Training at Crestmont.
Hope for the future—new beginnings
By Man-Hee Chang, Major
A shy teenager takes his or her first drink or drug and suddenly becomes the life of the party. Another, who has trouble controlling his or her emotions, finds that a joint, pill or drink brings a feeling of omnipotence. People turn to alcohol and substance abuse to fix whatever is wrong—if only momentarily—and it works quickly.
When life is unmanageable, drugs and alcohol are two of the great illusion builders that fool people into thinking that for a time they are in control, temporarily suppressing the real life issues lying dormant, all the time further losing control.
With the continuing abuse of alcohol and drugs in our society, the demand for adult rehabilitation center (ARC) services will increase.
Every year over 10,000 men and women reach a point of despair, falling prey to powerlessness that even alcohol and drugs cannot fix, and come to ARCs seeking help.
Ironically, addiction is basically a medical problem for which the only effective, long-term cure is spiritual. The opportunity for the ARC to work together with local corps and other Salvation Army institutions to provide spiritual care has never been greater.
As rehabilitation is the process of restoring persons to their best possible functioning, the first business of the ARC is to awaken hope in the minds and souls of these individuals. Everyone encounters bumps along the way of life. We get discouraged, hurt, sometimes even bitter, but we don’t give up for we believe in God and that he is leading us.
My hope is that all ARC and corps officers, staff and congregations will take the responsibility to provide opportunities to all beneficiaries and their families so that they will see God as loving, merciful, forgiving, and the creator of new beginnings. I hope that we would see God’s ultimate plans for his chosen people.
Major Man-Hee Chang is the West’s adult rehabilitation centers commander.
My hope for 2012
By Robert Docter
Hope is absent if that which we hope for has already been attained. We hope for the unattained.
We actualize that attainment as we persevere through, first, a wish for that which we have not yet attained; second, we begin to want that which we have not attained; and third, we exercise our will to attain that which had previously been unattainable.
This perseverance, Scripture (Rom. 5:4) tells us, creates character, and character brings us hope.
I have great hope for 2012 and I will persevere through to the actualization of that hope.
Things to stop
1. Labeling—I hope that we will resist
the temptation to label people with pejorative words intended to diminish them and that when we hear such words used we will explain nicely the negative consequences that action brings to relationships.
2. Judgmentalism—I hope that we, as a people, will reduce our judgmentalism and leave negative behavior up to God to judge rather than engaging in the highly dangerous act of self-deification and playing God ourselves.
3. Insularity—I hope that the Army will become much less insular, that we confront efforts to stereotype us, by becoming more open in sharing our spiritual/social/whole person ethic—what we truly are, and that we will relate more creatively to local and national media.
Things to start
Rescuing public education
Finishing two books
Hope without the will to actualize is an empty dream.