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Salvation Army video series to offer help for young adults

Salvation Army video series to offer help for young adults

By: Brad Rowland

Young adults face unique challenges in today’s landscape and, to assist them in meeting them, The Salvation Army’s Southern Territorial Youth Department is set to launch an online video series. The “Youth Down South: Young Adult Edition” series debuted in January 2020 and, every month, a new topic of study and conversation will be on display.

“Every video that we drop will come with a resource that we will put on Ministry Toolkit, our website and other places to make the information convenient to access,” said Jovanie Smith, the host of the series and the Southern Territory’s young adult and mission deployment coordinator. “There are tangible ways that this resource can be used in the field, and we think it can and will be very useful.”

The first video outlines the focus and vision of the series, for 2020 and beyond. From there, practical topics will be addressed, from financial management and resume-building to summer jobs, goal-setting and mental health.

Other segments will focus specifically on college students and individuals in that age range, including a focus on final exam preparation, student loan management and what to do after graduation.

“We really want to resource the field on a number of topics that are practical,” Smith said. “We want it to be geared specifically to young adults to help with things that are directly relevant to interests of people in that age group.”

Beyond their function as carriers of information that is relevant and practical, the videos will seek to to sustain an ongoing conversation with young adults and let them know they are being considered and that the issues they are battling can be overcome.

“I’m really excited about the videos and the impact they might have,” said Smith. “It doesn’t always happen that young adults are specifically the focus of something like this, and we think it can speak to some real-life questions that people might be facing.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Salvationist’s care and kindness captured heart of Alabama man

Salvationist’s care and kindness captured heart of Alabama man

By: Major Frank Duracher

Community Care Ministry workers faithfully execute their missions of grace through regular visits to nursing homes, hospitals, shut-ins, as well as jails and prisons. Formerly known as the League of Mercy, the oft-unheralded outreach draws its boundless inspiration from Matthew 25:40, where Jesus assures that whatever is done for the least of humanity is like doing it expressly for him.

One recipient of these visits – Earl Boatrite of Florence, Alabama – became a real trophy of grace and was won to the Army due to the kindness he saw each week during a long convalescence.

Boatrite’s contact with the Army goes all the way back to his childhood when he came up through the Army’s Scouting program at the Florence Corps. He even knows some of the “old faithful” from back then – some of whom are still around today.

But when Earl grew up, he also grew away from the Lord and the Army. That is, until the Lord got Earl’s attention in a veterans hospital ward.

Earl had left home as a teen, joined the military and served our country with distinction. He became a good husband, father and neighbor. But by his own admission, he wasn’t right with the Lord. The religious training he received at the Army back in Florence seemed light years away.

He knew something was missing in his life.

Earl would be the first to tell you today that he considers the decades outside of God’s will to be his “wasted years.” But he will also add that the Lord never gave up on him. An “angel” (his word) in the form of a League of Mercy worker became the model for the new direction Earl desired.

“I got real sick and was laid up in the VA Hospital in Birmingham,” Earl said. “During those long weeks, I became more and more impressed with the faithfulness and Christian love exhibited by someone in a Salvation Army uniform.”

Although he doesn’t remember her name nor whatever became of her, Boatrite said he will never forget her aged face, nor the regular doses of kindness and prayer dispensed for him and the other patients in the ward.

Each visit of this grandmother-figure in uniform became more important to Boatrite’s eventual conversion. Her visits were cherished highlights among the hourly monotony of treatment, therapy and tests. The floor around his sickbed became “holy ground.” He decided one day that the example of this elderly warrior was especially meant for him.

“I knew then and there: That’s what I want to do!”

He also witnessed to the Lord’s healing power. “Early on, my doctor told me that my type of illness would most likely leave me at 60 percent normal capacity. He said I would be legally disabled, never to work again. He even advised me to sell all my mechanic tools!”

By the time Boatrite was discharged, the same doctor pronounced him at 98 percent capacity. He returned to Florence, looked up The Salvation Army and later got a fulltime job at the U.S. Postal Service.

After many years, Boatrite’s determination has not wavered. Today he is the corps sergeant-major in the Florence Corps. His wife, Delia, joins him in faithful service in all of the corps programs, including CCM. Over the years, Boatrite attended Local Officers Training School held at Evangeline Booth College.

No one seems prouder to wear his uniform than CSM Earl Boatrite.

Major Frank Duracher, a former staff writer for The War Cry and Southern Spirit, is a retired Salvation Army officer living in North Carolina.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Tennessee girl demonstrates her love of giving for her 7th birthday

Tennessee girl demonstrates her love of giving for her 7th birthday

By: David Ibata

For her fifth birthday, Tinsley Ryan of Clarksville, Tennessee, took up donations for a local dog shelter. This summer, Tinsley recruited her neighborhood friends to make and sell bracelets, raising $167 for the Manna Café food pantry.

And for her seventh birthday, in November, Tinsley asked that all her gifts – nearly 50 presents – not go to her, but to The Salvation Army Angel Tree program.

“There’s nothing purer than a child’s heart,” said Captain Dawn Whitaker, who with her husband Captain Jonathan are corps officers in Clarksville. “Tinsley had her birthday party and asked for the gifts to go to kids in need for Christmas, and her friends did not disappoint.

“It’s just an amazing little spirit there,” Captain Dawn said. ”Her little heart is set to giving.”

Tinsley is in first grade and is active in gymnastics and at her family’s Grace Community Church in Clarksville. She loves animals and has talked of growing up to be a veterinarian or a zookeeper.

“I decided to give away my presents to help the poor,” she said. “I hope they’ll give them to people that don’t have any presents for Christmas. I feel really excited and happy and proud of what I have done.”

Staci Ryan, Tinsley’s mother, said she and her daughter had talked about what she wanted to do this year. “I mentioned, what if she collected toys for kids who weren’t going to get anything? She thought that was a great idea and just ran with it.”

When the time came to decide where to go with the gifts, the family didn’t have to look far.

“We see your Angel Trees all over,” Staci Ryan said. “It’s a recognizable program, and we know The Salvation Army does great things for the community and would give the toys to people who are really in need.”

The presents filled the back of the Ryan family’s Suburban when they were delivered to the corps.

“Most of the gifts were for girls – Barbies, American Doll accessories, you name it,” Captain Dawn said. They will help fill out regular Angel Tree requests, she said, and go to “forgotten angels that don’t quite fly back home at the appropriate time.”

“Her Mom said to me the day she dropped them off, ‘We’re really just trying to raise good humans.’ I said, ‘You’re doing a good job.’”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Express train bears season’s cheer through the South

Express train bears season’s cheer through the South

The Holiday Express, a Christmastime tradition of the Kansas City Southern Railroad, is distributing $170,450 in charitable contributions to The Salvation Army as the brightly decorated, six-car train makes its way across five Southern and Midwestern states.

The train departed Nov. 27 from Shreveport, Louisiana, and was to make stops in 20 communities in Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas before concluding its journey at Kansas City, Missouri, Union Station – home base for the KCS – Dec. 18-22. Click here to view the Holiday Express schedule.

“KCS looks forward to bringing Santa and his elves on the Holiday Express train to communities throughout our U.S. network,” said Patrick J. Ottensmeyer, KCS president and chief executive officer. “This project brings people together, strengthens community ties and supports our corporate vision and values.”

When the train stops, gift cards are given to the local Salvation Army to purchase warm clothes and other necessities. The gifts are made possible by contributions of KCS employees, vendors and friends.

Led by KCS’ Southern Belle business train, the Holiday Express consists of “Rudy,” a smiling locomotive; a flat car carrying Santa’s sleigh, reindeer and a miniature village; a gingerbread boxcar; an elves’ workshop; a reindeer stable; and a little red caboose. Each car is dressed in lights. People are invited to board the train, meet Santa and his elves, and tour three cars filled with holiday displays.

KCS thanks major sponsors who made this year’s trip possible, including APL Logistics Americas Ltd, Bartlett Grain/Savage Companies, Deanne Porter and Patrick Ottensmeyer, Husch Blackwell LLP, Kansas City Southern Historical Society, Michael and Marlys Haverty Family Foundation, Precision Waste Solutions LLC, RailPros, The Kansas City Southern Charitable Fund and Watco Companies.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Inspired young adults convene ‘The Kickback’

Inspired young adults convene ‘The Kickback’

By: Brad Rowland

In mid-January, young adults from across the South will gather in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for a weekend of mission, fellowship and worship.

“The Kickback: It’s In Your Hands” was created organically and technically outside The Salvation Army’s purview. However, the idea and execution arose from a small group of young adult leaders from the Florida Division, with the goal of bringing people together with purpose.

These words are the backdrop and central focus of The Kickback:

“Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others. We must carry our own load.” — Galatians 6:4-5 (CEV)

“A few young adults from Florida had the idea to invite young adults to Gatlinburg for an event that isn’t technically under the Army’s umbrella,”aid Jovanie Smith, territorial young adult and mission deployment coordinator. “They’ve tried to be intentional in passing along the message that, as young adults, we can take things into our own hands and not wait for others to give us permission to use the gifts and ideas that we’ve been instilled with,” Smith said. “There is no frustration or resentment involved, but there is a great opportunity to gather together, fellowship and worship.”

The Kickback’s origination was completely organic, beginning with a petition sent to Sabrina Kemper, Florida’s divisional creative arts director and one of the event’s organizers. Kemper talked with members of the event’s eventual leadership team – Emaniel Brifil, Cherika Gregory, Tonya Stickney and Smith – and they agreed something needed to be done.

“From there, the Holy Spirit just brought everything together effortlessly,” Kemper said. “Emaniel came up with the name ‘The Kickback,’ we agreed on the tagline of ‘It’s In Your Hands,’ and we were fueled by what is now our theme verse in Galatians 6.”

“I believe moving forward to action in order to meet a need is in our DNA as Salvationists,” Kemper said. “Christians are a doing people. That said, this isn’t a special event that took special people to put it on. The same spirit that moved William Booth to start The Salvation Army, or that brought together our brothers and sisters in Acts Chapter 2, is the same spirit at work here.”

The weekend’s activities, Jan. 17-19, will offer time for worship, service projects and group discussions on such topics as spiritual warfare, mental health, financial responsibility and authentic discipleship.

Attendance is open to anyone, with or without a previous Salvation Army relationship. The gathering will take place at Elk Springs Resort in Gatlinburg, a location chosen in part due to its centralized geography in the Southern Territory. Registration is $20 and is available at http://thekickback2020.eventbrite.com

Many in the young adult community are eagerly looking forward to coming together and doing so without reliance on anything but a worshipful spirit.

“While community is invaluable, there is a danger in relying on others, organizations, officers or those in designated leadership roles to run forward with the passions or ideas that God has planted in you,” Kemper said. “It’s an easy thing to do in the Army since, as young people, we’ve been sort of spoiled with programs, camps, youth councils, territorial events and a million other things being done and made easily available to us. We greatly appreciate that, and now we are happy to take up the mantle.”

“In the end, the Kickback is a gathering of encouragement to remind us that our faith, our ministry, our spiritual journey is really in our hands.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Dallas Cowboys’ playful jibe results in a handsome donation to the Army

Dallas Cowboys’ playful jibe results in a handsome donation to the Army

A contract holdout by a standout NFL running back that prompted an offhand joking comment from the Dallas Cowboys’ owner is resulting in a very handsome $150,000 donation to The Salvation Army, the Dallas Morning News reported.

This past summer, when Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was in a contract holdout and Jerry Jones, the team owner was asked about it, Jones jokingly responded by asking, “Zeke who?” Jones’ comment was made in a light-hearted way, and when Elliott and the Cowboys reached agreement on a new contract, the team made T-shirts imprinted with “Zeke who?” and sold them to Cowboys fans.

Jones’ reply to the question about the running back’s holdout had been made in fun, and the fans bought into the exchange. The T-shirts are sold on the Cowboys website at $29.99 apiece, and proceeds from sales of the shirts are being donated on Elliott’s behalf to The Salvation Army, which Jones and the Cowboys have supported for many years. When Elliott ended his holdout and signed with the Cowboys earlier this year, he announced that he would donate $100,000 to The Salvation Army.

An on-field celebration by Elliott three years ago first linked him to The Salvation Army. After scoring a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in December 2016, Elliott leaped into one of the oversize Red Kettles at the edge of the AT&T Stadium playing field. The playful leap was rebroadcast often over the ensuing days, and the Army reported that its Red Kettle donations took a corresponding leap. Last season, Elliott dropped a $21 donation into the Red Kettle after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day (Elliott’s jersey number is 21).

The Cowboys’ relationship with The Salvation Army dates to the late 1990s when the team dedicated a portion of its halftime show to the Army during the team’s annual nationally televised game on Thanksgiving Day. The Cowboys arranged for a nationally known performer to provide halftime entertainment that served to kick off the annual Red Kettle Christmas donation campaign. This year’s halftime show featuring Ellie Goulding marked the 23rd year the Cowboys have partnered with The Salvation Army for the Red Kettle Kickoff.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Motorcycle club joins hands with The Salvation Army to help local kids in Richmond, Va.

Motorcycle club joins hands with The Salvation Army to help local kids in Richmond, Va.

By: David Ibata

Active and retired law enforcement personnel who love riding motorcycles saddled up recently to deliver Christmas toys to The Salvation Army in Richmond, Virginia.

About 150 members and friends of the Blue Knights VA III chapter – some coming from as far away as New Jersey and Delaware – met at a local Harley-Davidson dealership the morning of Saturday, Nov. 2, to make the Inaugural Salvation Army Toy Run to benefit children in need.

“The Blue Knights are passionate about community service and supporting organizations helping others,” said Matt Pochily, development director for the Central Virginia Area Command. “They knew they could put out the call to gather and ride their bikes to support an organization like The Salvation Army and have a great response.”

The toys will go toward Angel Tree gifts for the children of families enrolled in Central Virginia’s Christmas Assistance Program.

The Richmond Blue Knights had had a teddy bear run for a local children’s hospital for 37 years, but a program change at the hospital this fall ended that initiative, said Michael Hart, secretary-treasurer of the club and a retired 35-year veteran of the Henrico County, Virginia, Police Department.

“We were looking for a new charity we could help,” Hart said. “I’ve always thought The Salvation Army would be a good fit for our group and event. We contacted them, and they were more than happy for us to do something for them.”

The Army asked for toys suitable for infants through 14-year-olds, and the Knights went shopping – for dolls to Legos to trucks. They carried the gifts as they rode more than 50 miles across Hanover and Henrico counties to a Salvation Army drop-off point at a Richmond area shopping mall.

The Blue Knights organization is the latest partner to join the Christmas Assistance Program.

“We have a number of unique partners that make possible a comprehensive distribution of gifts to families in needs – stockings, coats, toys, clothing,” Pochily said.

One media partner, for example, assists the Angel Tree campaign; another gives stockings. A third partner runs a coat drive that brings in 12,000 pieces of outerwear, while a fourth provides funds that help support the Christmas Center – the command’s gift distribution warehouse – and the purchases of supplies for other campaigns.

The Blue Knights is an international, nonprofit, fraternal organization of motorcycle-riding law enforcement veterans with hundreds of chapters and thousands of members in 29 countries, according to the VA III chapter website, www.blueknightsvaiii.org.

In December, their members will return to The Salvation Army to put bicycles together and help at a distribution day. They look forward to next year’s toy ride.

“We had short notice this year as we switched from one charity to another,” Hart said, “but next year, we’ll have a lot more time to plan, and it should be a bigger and better event.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Family’s very special Christmas tree warming hearts in northeast Florida

Family’s very special Christmas tree warming hearts in northeast Florida

By: Brad Rowland

With the holiday season approaching and the potential for colder temperatures, a fourth-grade student named Zoey Brown sprang into action.

Zoey, who attends PVPV-Rawlings Elementary School in Ponte Vedra, Florida, was inspired by The Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program and, with a bit of help from her family, she created the “Tree of Warmth,” attracting attention from across the Jacksonville area.

Zoey, whose grandmother, Pam Brown, is the sister of Major Candice Biggers, drew her initial inspiration from an otherwise innocuous conversation during a family dinner.

“From my understanding, the trigger for this initiative was a conversation we were having during dinner with Pam, her husband, Steve, and their grandchildren,” said Major Keath Biggers, Jacksonville area commander.

“We were discussing the Angel Tree, and one of the children, Bronx, began calling it the ‘Homeless Tree’ by mistake. We shared how cool it was that he called it that, and how it would be great if something could come from his ‘mistake.’ Out of the mouths of babes – although he’s in elementary school – came an inspiration that the Brown family took to make a ‘Homeless Tree’ expression into the ‘Tree of Warmth,’ providing clothing accessories to protect against the cold.”

From there, Zoey urged her relatives to help, and the family purchased a Christmas tree, along with gloves, hats and socks. They used the items to set up the “Tree of Warmth” at The Salvation Army Towers Center of Hope in Jacksonville. Since then, hundreds of winter items have been hung on the tree for shelter residents and homeless individuals to take and use to stay warm during the cold-weather season in the region.

“Several hundred men, women and children have already been recipients of the tree, and it will continue serving during the winter months, especially when the temperature drops those cold nights,” Major Biggers said. “We thank God for Zoey, Bronx and the family making this a reality and a great service to those we serve in Jacksonville.”

Zoey’s family has been a long-time adopter of angels through the Angel Tree program and, with that backdrop of experience and the familial connection, the pathway was clear. Still, the inspiration was centered on improving the lives of others by any possible means.

“Knowing that you truly can make a difference in someone’s life is huge,” said Pam Brown. “I want the children to grow up feeling that way. I want them to know how wonderful it feels to help others. We can’t thank Candy and Keath enough for allowing the children to do this and helping them to get it set up. It really means so much to our family to participate in giving back.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

A heavenly host: 40 years of Angel Tree for The Salvation Army

A heavenly host: 40 years of Angel Tree for The Salvation Army

By: David Ibata

Forty years ago, in a small city on the James River in the mountains of western Virginia, two Salvation Army officers came up with a new way everyone can have a role in Christmas charitable giving – and in so doing, changed the world.

“I am amazed. That’s all you can say,” said Lt. Colonel Shirley White, now retired. “It’s a hand of God thing, for this to work so quickly to help so many people. It was just an impossibility to think it would go this far. Now, 40 years later – wow.”

As the 1979 holiday season approached in Lynchburg, Virginia, where Lt. Colonel Shirley and her late husband Charles White were corps officers, the management of the newly opened River Ridge shopping mall came to them with a dilemma.

“They had all these big trees in the mall and wanted to know if we had a way to incorporate them into our Christmas program,” Lt. Colonel Shirley said. “We had a toy shop where we provided children with toys, but the real need in the community was clothing.”

Inspiration came in a Hallmark store, in a greeting card imprinted with three angels.

“We thought, we could put the names of kids on this and the size of their clothing, and it would go on an ‘Angel Tree.’ We bought the cards and cut them apart, and the mall helped us type children’s names on the angels and put them on the tree.”

Each angel had the name of a child in need. Shoppers were invited to take an angel, purchase the items requested, and bring the gift to the mall. That first year, 472 children – “a number that’s etched in my mind” – were blessed with new clothes.

Word of the program quickly got around. By the second year, families were coming to The Salvation Army as well as the mall to sign up. “A family would say, we don’t have a bed for our child to sleep in, and one of our volunteers would say, ‘I’ll take that angel and get that child a bed.’ Then people started giving bicycles, toys and other things. It just got more and more involved.”

River Ridge Mall has had Angel Tree ever since. On Nov. 15-16, it kicked off the 40th Angel Tree and Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign with a free concert by the National Capital Band, along with a tree lighting, cookie decorating and other activities. The Whites’ next posting as officers, in 1982, was to Nashville, Tennessee – the media center of the universe, if your universe is country music.

The Whites arrived in August and immediately proposed introducing Angel Tree to Music City. Advisory board members hesitated – it’s too late in the year to start a new program, they said – but the couple insisted they could do it. Radio station WSM, home of the Grand Ol’ Opry, came on board as the first Angel Tree co-sponsor. ABC Nightline heard about it and interviewed Lt. Colonel Charles; so did the Larry King Live radio show. Media across the country picked up the story. And the rest, they say, is history.

The Salvation Army Nashville Area Command recently celebrated its 37th year of Angel Tree at “GLOW, Nashville’s Brightest Christmas Experience,” a holiday extravaganza with more than 4 million lights, larger-than-life sculptures, ice skating, Santa’s workshop and other activities at First Tennessee Park.

Lt. Colonel Shirley was the honored guest Nov. 22 to help light a 100-foot-tall LED Christmas tree billed as “the world’s tallest digital Angel Tree.” People can donate to Angel Tree through digital kiosks at the park, a GLOW app or by visiting the website, glowholiday.com/angeltree

“When its founders Lt. Colonels Charles and Shirley White introduced Angel Tree in Nashville, the concept took off like wildfire, and millions have now benefited from it,” said Major Ethan Frizzell, Nashville area commander.

“Lt. Colonel Charles White passed away earlier this year, but his legacy lives on,” Major Frizzell said. “During the holiday season, about 3 million people across the country rely on The Salvation Army to provide toys for their children on Christmas morning or a warm meal on Christmas Day.”

Today, Angel Tree is everywhere – with The Salvation Army, of course, and in churches, clubs, schools, stores, corporate headquarters and other places too numerous to count. There are Angel Trees for children, senior citizens and homeless residents; Angel Trees online, for those can’t make it to a mall; and Angel Trees overseas, from France and the Netherlands to the Republic of Georgia.

Angel Tree also inspired the 2003 song “Paper Angels” by country artist Jimmy Wayne, and a 2011 novel and 2014 movie by the same name. “He was a foster care kid who received his first guitar from the Angel Tree program, so now he tells his story all over,” Lt. Colonel Shirley said.

The Whites shared the lessons of Angel Tree with their own family. In Nashville, for example, there was a woman with three young children who had lost her job and whose husband had died, and one of her kids was ill.

“Our family always adopted another family at Christmastime, and we tried to involve our children in that,” Lt. Colonel Shirley said. “We made purchases for this family, the food and everything, and took it to them. The lady was just jumping up and down with joy; she couldn’t wait to get on the phone to tell her mother while we were there, she was so excited.

“Our children learned from that – to be generous and giving and always considerate of other families in need.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

The General’s message for Christmas: Good news that needs to be shared

The General’s message for Christmas: Good news that needs to be shared

By: General Brian Peddle

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. — Luke 2:17

When you experience something good, you just can’t help talking about it. That may be a memorable meal, a good book, an enjoyable film, stirring music, dramatic theater or beautiful countryside. Whatever the experience, it leaves such an impression on us that we want to share it with others. We have to share it! Good news needs to be shared.

These days, when people discover they are expecting a baby, many find creative ways to share the news; some hold parties to reveal the gender of the unborn baby; some have parties and – when the child is finally born – they announce it loud and clear.

Jesus’ birth was announced through a new, bright star that appeared in the sky. An angelic choir burst into song to communicate the great news.

Unsuspecting shepherds were looking after their sheep, like any other night, when the sky lit up and they heard the most astonishing news in a most spectacular way. An angel appeared to personally deliver a message to the shepherds (Luke 2:9-12). This was a detailed message – the angel clearly described who Jesus was (v. 11) and how they would find him (v. 12). So, the shepherds journeyed to the manger and found Jesus “just as they had been told” (v. 20).

Such was the impact of their experience on the hillside and in the stable, they just had to tell other people about it. The news was so joyous and tremendous that they couldn’t keep it to themselves. The news about Jesus brought light into the darkness of a shattered world. Like the shepherds, we need to realize that this good news is not just ours – it needs to be shared.

In my message to Salvationists and friends, employees and supporters this Christmas, I’m calling us to have a renewed confidence in the gospel. John the Baptist preached a message of repentance and prepared the way for Jesus. God sent his one and only Son into this world to save it. Jesus then sent out his disciples to preach the good news, perform miracles and make disciples. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit enabled the disciples to share the gospel in a myriad of languages and empowered the Early Church to spread the story of the Savior to new lands and new people.

The apostle Paul declared: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). We are a Salvation Army – the gospel is the saving message we preach in words and express in actions.

The good news of Jesus brings hope to those who are lost, light to those in darkness, joy to those in despair. It offers real transformation to the person who is caught in addiction, disillusioned by materialism or seeking purpose and direction. We share the gospel because we have experienced its truth and power for ourselves, and we know, personally, the “author and perfecter,” so we have confidence in the gospel’s transformative power on others.

This Christmastime and beyond, let us follow the example set by the angels and shepherds. Let us use every opportunity and every means possible to spread the word about who Jesus is while showing people where they can find him so that they too can have a saving, personal relationship with the living Christ. It’s not just good news – it’s the best news. Let’s share it!

Source: southernspiritonline.org