Tuesday, December 30, 2008


a great prayer... perhaps it's worth helping to answer!

Monday, December 29, 2008


stop the traffik is a HUGE coalition campaign, global in scope - grassroots in nature... they aim to urge governments and everyday people to help end human trafficking because PEOPLE SHOULDN'T BE BOUGHT AND SOLD. Amen.
The founder of stt is Steve Chalke - a legend, theologian, extensive writer (over 40 books!), fundraiser (world record holder for raising the most money in one event - London marathon... 1.25 million pounds!)... read more here:
anyway, we've got heaps of events happening early in January to kick off this year with a huge bang for the fight against trafficking. Prayer slave chain on the 12th, GOD IN THE CITY, Mission on the edge and Australia's largest chocolate fondue party at Federation Square in the center of Melbourne... not to mention Jan. 9th (a dinner updating anyone interested in the global impact and strategy of Stop The Traffik!). If you'd like to come email me (danielle.strickland@gmail.com).
Looking forward to a new Kingdom coming soon where people won't be bought and sold... anyone else interested?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

God draws near.

It was a rag-tag crew of folks this past Christmas in the neighbourhood. All of us, gathered together in a gritty, local church for some thoughts about the day and shared together in a celebratory meal afterwards. Although there were only a few of us - we were not alone. That was the point really. We gathered around a manger scene with a 91 year old doll (gift to the paster many years ago as a young girl) as Jesus. Jesus was a girl. The carols lacked power. The talk (about receiving and giving) although a great idea, lacked polish and didn't pack a punch. Actually, as I looked around I realised none of us needed a punch... we needed hugs, turkey and Jesus Himself. The God who draws near. So, we sang, we prayed, we lit some candles for those far away, we received presents for ourselves and some for others and we ate. Strangers really.
The feeling for me was not familiar. I've served christmas dinners before. I'm in the Salvation Army for pete's sake. Serving people on Christmas day is part of the deal. But this one was different. Because we shared the day with another church it didn't feel like I was serving. It felt like I was receiving. And that is a whole other thing. Because the truth of that day for me was that I was alone. Our families thousands of miles away - our friends with their broods on the special day. Our reality this Christmas was a little closer to the authentic kind. And although it reads well in Phillippians as a demonstration of humility it feels a little, well, lonely at the time.
Now, don't get me wrong. It was the kind of experience that deepens your reflection, develops your spiritual awareness, and softens your empathy for those in that situation all year round. For me it was a morning... and even that morning was bathed in the love and company of my husband and son and the assurance of prayers and skype calls from home and the evening spent with new friends and family God provides. It was not despairing. But it was enlightening. It was deepening. And although the invitation to hang out in those places come to us - we often don't take them. They can be dangerous places where God is hiding, in distressing disguises (as Mother Theresa put it). But I want the boy in the manger stall. Even with rejection, isolation, fear and terror - even with the smell of manure, scratchy hay and the rag tag mix of shepherds and foreigners... I want to gather round the manger... the incarnation - God made flesh... messy, ugly and alone. Because somehow in that place - God draws near.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008


Found an interesting resource online for those of you who care about the history of women and their role in the Salvation Army: Women In God's Army by Andrew Mark Eason, check it out here.
Women in God's Army is the first study of its kind devoted to the critical analysis of this central claim. It traces the extent to which this egalitarian ideal was realised in the private and public lives of first- and second-generation female Salvationists in Britain and argues that the Salvation Army was found wanting in its overall commitment to women's equality with men. Bold pronouncements were not matched by actual practice in the home or in public ministry. Andrew Mark Eason traces the nature of these discrepancies, as well as the Victorian and evangelical factors that lay behind them. He demonstrates how Salvationists often assigned roles and responsibilities on the basis of gender rather than equality, and the ways in which these discriminatory practices were supported by a male-defined theology and authority. He views this story from a number of angles, including historical, gender and feminist theology, ensuring it will be of interest to a wide spectrum of readers. Salvationists themselves will appreciate the light it sheds on recent debates. Ultimately, however, anyone who wants to learn more about the human struggle for equality will find this book enlightening.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Advent Conspiracy Promo Video

worth the watch... pass it on... better yet - live it out.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Go Norway...

Norway makes it a criminal offence to pay for sex
Friday, 21st November 2008. 3:29pm
By: Judy West.

The Norwegian Parliament has voted in favour of making payment for sexual
acts a criminal offence in order to protect vulnerable women and children.
The law passed with 44 votes in favour and 28 against and will come into
effect on January 1, 2009.

The legislation -- inspired by the success of neighbouring Sweden which
criminalised the purchasing of sex in 1999 – is actually rather more
robust than that of its next door neighbour, setting a new pace for
prostitution law reform.

Designed to reduce trafficking and other forms of commercial sexual
exploitation in Norway, the legislation is welcomed by many Norwegian
NGOs. Maya Brenna Nielxem, of Norwegian NGO ROSA project says “We strongly
support this law as it is of ultimate importance that society makes a
statement to the trafficking victims that we do not condone the sale and
rape of them. We hope that this will reduce the levels of trafficking and
other forms of commercial sexual exploitation in Norway. “

Norway is a country of destination for trafficking in women and children.
The majority of trafficking victims come from or through the Baltic
states, other Central and Eastern European countries, and Russia, as well
as from Latin America and Thailand. Recently Norwegian Government
authorities have expressed their awareness of the growing problem of
trafficking into the country. This week the UK Home Office announced
changes to British prostitution law, introducing the offence of paying for
sex with someone who is controlled for gain along with giving new powers
to police to close down premises where sexual exploitation is taking

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Justice War

I've been reminded today about how real wars are won by ordinary battles... everyday, ordinary heroes who do the hard yards (as we say down under) and go the distance in their own backyards. One of these ordinary heroes doing extraordinary work is Debbie Messenger and her smaller yet just as potent justice fighters at Joyville in the Philippines (some are pictured above... ready for a fight!). Make sure you remember them this Christmas - I'm praying that the Incarnation of Jesus becomes so potent in their lives that they lead us to the final victory. Let justice roll.

Monday, December 15, 2008


It was a repeated theme for me yesterday as I reflected on my own talk of earlier races at Order 614 graduation... and the spiritual learning curve over the last decade of my life: anyone can start - but who will finish? The real work is often done in the last 10k not the first. Perseverance is a rare quality of our current culture... but it is a pearl if you can find it. So, as I finished the last leg of my triathlon in one of Melbournes stormiest sundays I reminded myself of the value of finishing... I dug deep - 'soldiered up' and finished the race. It felt good. here's praying that hebrews 12 is something we don't just read but live:
Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us press on to finish the race. consider Jesus, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, scourning it's shame and SAT DOWN at the right hand of God.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Human Rights

There is a growing debate and action around a Human Rights charter in Australia.
Get informed and active in the debate at this site: Get Up. Your Rights, Your Say
This government consultation is a once in a lifetime chance to call for a Human Rights Act to permanently protect human rights in Australia.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Youth and Justice

I've been soooo incredibly blown away by younger folks who want to committ themselves to justice. It's incredible. Actually, many of them have requested some help getting started so we are releasing (first thing in January... at INSANE Melourne) High School justice kits to get them started. If you are one you will want to check them out... they highlight four global justice campaigns and give you everything you need to get started spreading the aroma of sweet smelling justice at your school. If you are a teacher or chaplain or even a youth leader - you can use this kit to help you out!
Don't miss the revolution. We mean to change the world.
Stay tuned for more details and while you are waiting why not start yourself... host a fairtrade chocolate fondue party and stop the traffik - check out the website for more details.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

thoughts on alcohol...

So, I was chatting with John Smith this morning at St. martin's community God Squad celebration. Good times. We started to talk through the subtle differences between our communities (Salvos and St. Martin's). We have much more in common of course, rooted in the same Wesleyan theology and staunch supporters of holiness impacting tough places with light. One of the main differences is alcohol.
Now, John has a familiar take on this having come from a deeply religious home seeped in tradition and rules... alcohol was simply a pious, religious rule that kept the church people separate from the worldly people... from a missiology (thoughts on mission) base Alcohol abstinence can be a hindrance (at least that's his take). By separating ourselves from the world by abstinence he suggests that we can become holier than thou pious types that can't connect to people in culture... Our take of course is that Alcohol abstinence is about being called 'out of the world' in a Nazarite-type call to be different YET somehow we believe that our call is to the world at the same time. We believe that our message is one that is about purity lived out-loud without the religion but with the purity and impact of transformed lives being beacons of hope to those stuck in the grip of alcohol.
Is it possible?
well, i get the struggle. Sometimes it is awkward to be set apart in an extreme way like total abstinence... it can feel like we are so separate that we've lost touch with the people we are called to love... and it can lead to a seclusion or exclusion from real life that leaves us part of a holy club protected from the world but leaving little impact.
On the other hand, how can we remain pure or prophetic from the grip of excessive alcohol consumption and it's impact on the poor in society - how can we present the good news of transformation and freedom when we struggle ourselves with the same demons that assault the world... how do we proclaim the gospel with power if we are prisoners to the poison of culture and it's abuse?

I think there's still time for John to change his mind! ;-) But even if not - here's a strong Christian salute to a man who stands for Christ and serves the world with good news. I'd be thrilled to be more like him - cause he reminds me of Jesus.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The international day for the abolition of slavery

The United Nations has designated December 2 as The International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, and according to former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, this means slavery in all its forms. Unfortunately, despite all efforts to the contrary, human exploitation shows no sign of abating. Still most vulnerable to trafficking are women and children who may find themselves abducted from their families or in some cases sold by them into slavery—not only as prostitutes but alternatively as laborers or soldiers. Check out the vision website for some amazing articles outlining the different forms slavery takes... and then join us to stop the traffik.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


I was reminded today about the amazing global impact of The Salvation Army. Speaking with some legend officers from indonesia who both have multiple jobs including raising orphaned children (39 in one home alone). We have scores of children's homes in Indonesia and all of them need our prayers and support... not to mention the trafficking issues - there is much work to be done. Which brings me to another issue: in our movement we have developed a partnership system... matching developed world countries to developing world countries as 'partners in mission'. This has amazing potential because of course we need to learn from them more than we think. Often these partnerships have devloved into financial contractions. We simply write a check. This is a beginning forsure and we do have all the resources and we ought to share but there is much more to partnership than this.
We're developing a partnership system that is based on three things:
1. relationship. any real partnership is based on relationship not function. We aim to create meaningful relationships with our partners in mission.
2. respect. Often charity ends up being patriarchal and pedantic - we need to start fostering relationship based partnership that is based on respect. often officers in developing world countries have much to teach us about corps growth and creative, innovative ministries - including spiritual fervour and warfare... respect based relationships mean that we take the time to learn.
3. resource. Strategic resourcing is key - including sharing our fair share of the worlds resources and calling on our government to make good on it's promise to the world's poor.

that's a start anyway... any other thoughts about partnerships and global impact... the idea itself is quite exciting.
The World for God.