sharper focus “A Spirit driven life”

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By Erin Wikle, Soldier

How much of what you do is done without purpose? (No, I’m not pleading a come back of Rick Warren’s “ground breaking manifesto on the meaning of life.”) I’m really wondering…

I grapple with this question a lot. I’d like to think it’s my own “goodness” that spurs me on to consider the choices I make. There’s the little stuff: wondering how I’ll spend Thursday evening, because it’s my only “free” evening…or deciding if I should get up to take the train or hit the snooze button and drive in. Then there’s the bigger stuff: wondering if spending quiet time with Christ will consume my one and only free evening or considering which is more important—skipping the train and sleeping in, or stewarding the earth and my wallet by jumpin’ on the Chattanooga choo-choo. (Okay, that’s not really my train.)

I don’t see much difference. Do you?

There was a time when I was all about God leading me in the extremities of life’s decisions: which college to attend, which boy to date, which heart to break, which city to move to, which job to take. During any given life changing circumstance, you better bet I was on my knees in fervent prayer seeking direction. The spirit of striving was alive and well within me! Yet, as I mature in Christ I’ve grown more interested in engaging in an ongoing dialogue with my creator, seeking his wisdom and counsel on anything (perceived big or small) that will lead to greater intimacy with him and a greater witness to others.

The truth is—apart from God, I am nothing. So it can’t be my perceived “goodness” spurring me onto anything of noble cause, because only he is good. If anything, my grappling is a direct result of God’s calling me to a higher standard of holiness.

When I began to accept that God was calling me to this standard, he grew in me a passion for those I loved most to pursue this standard as well. He began showing me what fullness meant for me and what it meant for others.

Hear this, God is calling The Salvation Army to a higher standard of holiness.

We are a holiness movement that has lost its momentum as a result of conceding to spiritual laziness instead of growing greater passion for Jesus, self-absorption instead of long-suffering for others, excessive concern for the preservation of our esteemed heritage instead of revitalizing its grassroots (Holy Spirit, signs/wonders, OTHERS), and a general disinterest in living in step with the Spirit of God instead of living with constant expectation of his Spirit alive in us.

So, mock me if you will as I consider Christ over “Cupcake Wars,” or an hour of quiet contemplation on the train over 20 minutes extra sleep. I choose Christ to purpose my life. I choose him to grow me in holiness, no matter what the cost.

Count the cost, soldiers, officers, and friends of his great Army. Together, let’s seek God’s best in every decision we make, not because it makes us “good,” but because it equips us to live purposed, to be more like him, with an ability to draw others into his likeness.

a view from the board side “Recognizing our partners in service “

a view from the board side “Recognizing our partners in service “

By  Dick  Hagerty, Advisory board member Community recognition awards are an

from the desk of …The real thing

from the desk of …The real thing

By Doug O’Brien, Lt

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