‘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)

‘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

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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Cost, sacrifice and choice


By Kevin Jackson, Major – 

You’ll find a different sort of book review here. Two books: one a classic of the Christian faith and the other a new work yet to be released. As an avid reader, I scour the bookshelves of bookstores, browse through Amazon and receive recommendations from friends and colleagues on current works worth my time to read. My “to-read” list includes no less than 100 books.

Yet, some classics simply deserve placement on every person of faith’s reading list. The Cost of Discipleship (Touchstone, 1995) by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is one of those reads.

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By Kevin Jackson, Major9780976846581-631x1024

From the first sentence, readers of “ORSBORNAGAIN,” by Major Rob Birks (Frontier Press, 2013),  realize Birks has penned something special. Reintroducing the poetry of Albert Orsborn to a new generation of readers is a good idea. Reinterpreting the poetry of Albert Orsborn—also known as the Poet General—to a new generation of readers is a great idea.

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Reflections of a Former Atheist

By Robert Docter9780976846550

The story of one second chance is captured in a new Frontier Press title, Reflections of a Former Atheist, by Major Glen Doss. In it, Doss tells a story of the war between belief and nonbelief. How does one move from a childhood belief system, fully accepting Christian principles, into a posture of atheistic nonbelief and total rejection of the prior belief system?


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One for All

By Bob DocterScreen Shot 2014-05-28 at 2.05.32 PM

One for All (Frontier Press, 2011), by Commissioner James Knaggs and Major Stephen Court, contains three separate titles advancing a “collective though”–one salvation for all the world.



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