‘Called to Be God’s Own: Second Edition’

By Alfred Van Cleef, Lt. Colonel –

“Called to Be God’s Own: Second Edition” (Adult Rehabilitations Centers Command, USA Western Territory, 2015) with a corresponding workbook by Major Glen Doss is a welcomed teaching tool.

Printed in larger font, the new edition includes a glossary and an additional chapter, “About The Salvation Army Today.” While the first edition focused entirely on drug and alcohol addiction, the new material is far more comprehensive in scope, incorporating the full range of addictive agents and behaviors—from drugs and alcohol to work, money, food and toxic relations.

The author skillfully blended three important subjects: the purpose and place of Salvationists in today’s world; the doctrines of The Salvation Army; and the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The use of the book and workbook would seem to fit any teaching situation for adherents or senior soldiers, and is not limited to use just in The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Centers.

The material is clearly presented, easily understood and will challenge all involved, from teacher to student. It also includes a brief history of The Salvation Army, important elements of the Spiritual Life Commission, the soldier’s covenant and salvation and the sacraments.

I was challenged by reading the material. It will be the standard for our adherent classes and should be used for soldier preparation as well. It is a strong tool for all to use.

Find the book and workbook at tradewest.com.  

‘Those Incredible Booths’

William and Catherine Booth as parents and the life stories of their eight children

By Keith Banks, Commissioner – 



IF THOSE who attended the first international congress held in 1886 could come back today they would be amazed by the very different sights and sounds of Boundless 2015.

In 1886 the Army was celebrating its 21st birthday, but had been working outside Britain for only six years. In that time it had already reached 12 countries. But it took holy daring to announce an international congress in London and invite Salvationists from these lands to come. But come they did – and they lifted the roof with their praise to God for what he had done.

How amazingly different is Boundless 2015! Delegates have come not from 12 countries, but from 126! Attendances are far in excess of those of the first congress. Traditional sounds of music mix with the exotic. The latest in modern technology helps to communicate the message.

But also, how amazingly the same is Boundless 2015. What would strike any visitors from 1886 the most is that on its 150th birthday the Army is as young as it ever was. Its spirit has not changed, and the energy and vitality of the Holy Spirit still courses as powerfully through its veins as it ever did.

We praise God as we commemorate the Army’s past and celebrate its work in the present. And for the future, may the congress inspire us to be even more open to the Spirit – an Army prepared to innovate, adapt and forge ahead to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

General John Larsson (Rtd)

‘To Seize This Day of Salvation’

Rader_ToSeizeThisDayBy Robert Docter, Dr. – 

General Paul Rader (Retired) and Commissioner Kay Rader urge The Salvation Army to immediate action with their “carpe diem” call To Seize This Day of Salvation (Salvation Books, 2015). Together, they have never played a waiting game. Their message means now—today—and pushes us to do so.

Upon assuming command of the USA Western Territory in 1992, Paul Rader wrote a framework of faith within which he was called to work and to define his mission. How wonderful it was for officers and soldiers to hear the factors of his own accountability. Under the title “This I Believe,” he articulated the belief system that guided his life and, thus, laid out criteria for individuals to use in examining their own. What a way to begin. This framework of faith appears first in the book.

The first of 16 points in the credo states: “I believe that in winning souls, the service of people and the building of the Army, our ultimate concern must be for the glorification of God. More important than doing the work of God is doing the will of God.”

Second, he wrote: “I believe that our primary task is to lift up the Lord Jesus Christ, to glorify him, to proclaim him as our risen Lord and present, powerful Saviour. Christ is Head of his Church and Captain of his Army.”

In reading his credo, I pondered what the factors might be in my own belief system. I have strong beliefs, but have never written them. I suspect I reveal much in my writing for New Frontier Publications. Perhaps, you will wonder as well.

Each of his points began with “I believe…” Some of his points concern the authority of Scripture, the centrality of the cross, the nature of salvation, the power of the Spirit, world evangelisation, growth, the value of persons, and integrity of the family.

The Raders have always encouraged active participation in the planning process for the accomplishment of the mission, and the book explains why this word takes on important meaning for them both. They continue to pursue the achievement of the Army’s reason for being. Paul Rader writes: “I am not a mindless proponent of expansionism…I am committed to strategic advance. We need a new birth of evangelistic innovation and daring.”

I worked under the Raders leadership during the planning of “Mission 2000” in the West. Its boldness frightened some traditionalists, however it achieved great success in expanding the number of corps and modifying worship style to the 21st century.

In section three, the reader finds important information relating to our Wesleyan heritage and a chapter titled “Lest we Lose Our Legacy – the Place of Women in Salvation Army Ministry.”

Two inspiring and informative speeches to the High Council bookend this volume. The first, delivered in 1993, carries the identical title to this book: “To Seize This Day of Salvation.” Beginning with quotes from 2Corinthians 6:2 concerning a forward push now, Paul Rader details the daunting challenges and exciting opportunities the Army faced during that time. He deftly revealed his knowledge of the terrors and triumphs of every region of the world. He said then: “I am committed to the intentional invasion of the King of Darkness,” and urged his listeners to “hear anew the call of the streets and slums, the barrios and favelas, the highway and the hedges and the haunts of sin and shame.” Then, I imagine with power, he stated: “Our unity is our strength.”

The book closes with “A call to Prayer from Lazarus’s Tomb” wherein Rader reports on his final visit with his father Lieut-Colonel Lyle Rader prior to his promotion to Glory. A fantastic evangelist, Lyle Rader gave his son his orders and identified subject for prayer: “We need to pray for the purity of our movement. Then we can pray for renewal and revival in our corps and among our people.”

This book is a valuable read for all people interested in the development of this Army of salvation, of a world for God, of our commitment to the forgotten.

‘Telling Our Stories’

TSA_TellingOurStoriesV1By R. Gordon Moyles, Dr. – 

“If history were taught in the form of stories,” Rudyard Kipling claimed, “it would never be forgotten.” That statement could very well serve as the masthead for this exciting new bi-annual publication of the Western Territory’s Frontier Press—”Telling Our Stories, Volume I.” For, as its editor, Major Kevin Jackson, so cogently argues, “Our history weaves a tapestry of thousands upon thousands of stories of individuals and groups of people who together have lived out the mission of The Salvation Army over 150 years.” And it is these stories which have “the power to transform the lives of others and the power to encourage, inspire and illuminate those who call The Salvation Army their own.”

The first volume of “Telling Our Stories” admirably fulfills that purpose, mainly because the four stories included not only recall events but, more importantly, focus on the people who initiated them and whose lives were changed by them. General Paul Rader in “Remembering Mission 2000,” Lt. Col. Check Yee in “For My Kinsmen’s Sake,” Commissioners Bill and Gwen Luttrell in “The Manhattan Project,” and Lt. Col. Stephen Smith in “The Training College at 801 Silver Avenue” all (perhaps intuitively) share the belief that the essence of history is biography. They know that The Salvation Army owes its success to the enterprise and dedication of its officers and measures that success mainly by the lives that have been changed by its mission.

The four stories, therefore, are largely people stories. We meet the Salvationists who contributed to the success of Rader’s Mission 2000 initiative. With Yee, we see the faces and hear of the voices of the men and women who brought the Army’s message to San Francisco’s Chinatown, who struggled to sustain it and who still claim it as their legacy. And, though the stories told by the Luttrells and Smith reveal ultimate disappointments—the Manhattan Project was eventually shut down and the Training College sold during the Depression—the legacy of both “lives on in the hearts and lives of hundreds of men and women” who either saw them into or benefited by their existence.

This volume is an excellent beginning, and will, if continued in the same vein, prove to be a valuable contribution to our understanding of Salvation Army history. For, one thing is certain, there are so many stories worth telling—and so many worth re-telling—that the end is nowhere in sight. As an encouragement to all Salvationists to support it, I would say, with Michael Crichton, “If you don’t know history…you are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree.”

‘Someone Cared’

‘Someone Cared’

Birks_SomeoneCaredBy Lisa Barnes, Lt. – 

I hate singing.

I especially dislike hymns. Please don’t hate me for this confession—it’s just not my bag. To me they often feel distant and unrelatable, especially when the words aren’t in the normal order that we say them in. Dyslexic problems. So a devotional book based on hymns is something I wouldn’t normally run to read. That is until I read Rob Birks’ book, “Someone Cared” (Frontier Press, 2015).

I smiled like a crazy person while reading most of this book because of the humor and relevance of it all. Even on the chapters that I didn’t like, such as #PrayForSPU, I was caught in contemplation and thankfulness of the presence of God. Read More

‘Hidden Treasure’

hidden-treasure-coverBy Beverley Smith, Major (Dr.) – 

“Hidden Treasure: Valuing Women in The Salvation Army,” (Salvo Publishing, 2015) a new compilation of women officers’ stories edited by Major Leanne Ruthven, is long overdue. Seeing women officers as hidden treasure waiting to be discovered within The Salvation Army, Ruthven ably brings together contributions from a variety of women around the world.

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Conversations: with the Catholic Church, 2007-2012

By Kevin Jackson, Major – bb227769-aedf-491d-9d53-7f8fbcba449c_225-Conversations

It’s easy to become weary in our faith these days. Far too often we see Christians at odds with others, both inside and outside our religious worldview. Yet faith is about more than who’s right and who’s wrong. Faith is a world-changing and life-transforming relationship with God. There is joy, peace and good will on earth, yet these things should be more common between Christians. Alas, what should be more common, tends to be less so in recent years.

A recently published collection of documents, jointly written and collected by The Salvation Army International Headquarters and official representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, allow for a much needed breath of fresh air for the person of faith—“Conversations: with the Catholic Church, 2007-2012” (Salvation Books, 2014). At first glance, the reader might suspect that the contents of this book contain long diatribes of dry theological speak that only resonate with scholars, theologians and those interested in canon law. A closer look reveals otherwise.

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Called to be God’s Own

By Lawrence Shiroma, MajorScreen Shot 2014-10-16 at 2.35.28 PM

With many years of officership in the ministry of The Salvation Army adult rehabilitation center (ARC), Major Glen Doss has authored “Called To Be God’s Own” drawing from three bodies of knowledge—the 12 vital areas highlighted by The Salvation Army’s International Spiritual Life Commission, the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the 11 doctrines of The Salvation Army.

The book is the official text for the new ARC recovery program for those seeking membership in The Salvation Army, and thoughtful discussion questions following each chapter make it both useful for personal times of reflection and shareable in small groups.



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Maud, Emma, Evangeline: America’s Love Affair with the 3 Booth Women


By Ronda Gilger, Major

Told from the perspective of the “American Press’ Culture-Lens,” Dr. R. G. Moyles’ latest work, “Maud, Emma, Evangeline: America’s Love Affair with the 3 Booth Women” (Frontier Press, 2014), hands us a unique look into the lives of three extraordinary women.

Moyles—professor emeritus of English literature and former associate dean of arts at the University of Alberta in Canada—captures Maud, Emma and Evangeline, who each captured the hearts and minds of the public, rising to celebrity status as the “darling, the face, the perceived image” of The Salvation Army in America.

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Tsunami of the Spirit: a Festschrift for General Paul & Commissioner Kay Rader

By Rob Birks, Major

343911Catch a wave and you’re sitting on top of the world. – The Beach Boys

We Salvationists know our place. We have no interest in sitting on top of the world. We should, however, be all about catching the giant wave described in “Tsunami of the Spirit: a Festschrift [Google it] for General Paul & Commissioner Kay Rader” (Crest Books, 2014). The Raders, Western Territory officers,  served as international leaders of The Salvation Army from 1994 to 1999.

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