Friday, March 22, 2019

Lent Week 3: What’s in a Name?-- Abba




In the Introduction of this series, we looked at why Easter comes before Christmas in our calendar year and noted that the Christian Liturgical (religious rites) Calendar follows a different timeline, because over time in the Early Church feasts were developed to celebrate the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ. Furthermore, this is the reason that the theme for the Easter Season devotionals carries over from the previous Christmas Season (i.e., “O Come Let Us Adore Him!). In addition, we will continue to explore the theme via Exploring the Names of God to aid us in our spiritual quest to draw closer to Him and to enable us to more fully worship and adore Him. For week 1 of Lent, we reviewed the significance of this approximately six week period of preparation prior to Easter, which commences with Ash Wednesday. For week 2 of Lent we focused on the name of Jesus, which means ‘God’s salvation.’ This week we will concentrate on the name “Abba”.

When our family moved from Montreal, Canada to the Upstate of South Carolina I discovered that our new home was located in what’s known informally as “the Bible Belt”. The Bible Belt refers to the southeastern and south-central States, where conservative evangelical Protestantism has a dominant role in politics and in society in general, and church attendance is higher than the national average. I have also observed that many people here seem to take seriously the Scripture verse that states, “And do not call anyone on earth 'father,' for you have one Father, and he is in heaven,” (Matthew 23:9, NIV). Surprisingly, to me, many of the children address their earthly fathers as “Sir”, which seems rather formal. On the other hand, our children grew up calling their father “Daddy”, which is informal and reflects the bond of closeness.


Thus, as we look at the meaning of “Abba”, we discover that it means “Father”, the equivalent of a child’s use of “Daddy” and the most intimate of the names of God. The close-knit bond revealed in the use of “Abba” is emphasized in the New Testament. In fact, the name Abba only occurs three times (in the KJV)—in Mark 14:36; Romans 8:15; and Galatians 4:6--and is only used by Jesus and the apostle, Paul. This reflects the intimate relationship that Jesus had with His Father-dad, but also demonstrates, via Paul’s usage of Abba, that we may also experience that closeness with our heavenly Father-dad.

The name. Abba”, reveals the facet of His character as our loving Father. When we informally chat with Him, when we tell Him how our day has gone, our successes and our excitement, or our failures and disappointments, we don’t address Him as ‘Sir’. We approach Him as our Heavenly Father-Dad, laying our lives before Him, sharing our most guarded secrets and dreams. He listens and responds to our heart’s desires and to our heartaches. He guides us, watches over us, and supplies our needs. Furthermore, Jesus taught His listeners, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:11). How much more will your ABBA in heaven give you good gifts when you ask Him? Go ahead: ask Him!
Thank You, Abba!

Suggested Daily Scripture Readings:
Saturday- Mark 14:36
Sunday- Romans 8:14-17
Monday- Galatians 4:1-7
Tuesday- Matthew 7:7-11
Wednesday- John 14:1-13
Thursday- Ephesians 1:3-10
Friday- 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

Blessings & Peace


Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)
Canada

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

SA MISSION And THEIRS Part I

A portion of the Enigma Chapter from: Return to Battle in Russia and Beyond Volume II

    Sven Ljungholm & Kathie (Ljungholm) Bearcroft       
 During the period between 1920 and 1970, there was little or no mission activity conducted by the Russian  Orthodox Church. There were decade long periods of forced stagnation and setbacks imposed by the Communists.  However, the advent of an unprecedented influx of intra-Christian proselytism from the ‘west’ in the late ‘80s triggered a swift revival of interest in mission, and led Orthodox missionaries to have a more receptive approach to both its own and other cultures                                                                                                             As the Orthodox Church prepared to enter the 21st century, its worldview, which has been less influenced by the modernity of the West, may enable it to minister more effectively to people involved in postmodern reactions against modernity.                                          
While the mission movement in Orthodox Christianity has lasted nearly twenty centuries, the self-conscious study of mission is much more recent. Missiology, or mission studies, has not usually been taught as a subject in Orthodox seminaries or academies. It is only since the rise in popularity of mission studies in the West that Orthodox scholars have begun to pay any attention to the subject. Two recent published monographs in English on this subject: Eastern Orthodox mission theology today by James Stamoolis (1986), and Orthodo
x Alaska by Michael Oleksa  (1994), could be said to have been pioneering works in this field.
                                                                             As Soviet political hegemony slackened, the mindset changes that came over Central and Eastern Europe were momentous, marking the end of a status quo that had existed for four decades, and in Russia for a full seven. In this transition from one clearly definable epoch to another, the evangelical churches from the ‘west’, including the Army,  stood on the threshold of a thrilling new era in its history. The vigor and spiritual dynamism of the Army was nowhere in greater evidence than at the event of the year—the 1990 International Congress in London.                                                                            A concern echoed often during our 2 year tenure in Moscow by general congregants, recruits and soldiers when speaking of the Russian Orthodox Church was the nativity exhibited by ex-pat Salvationists working in Russia. Repeated requests that all officers/soldiers offering for service in Russia include real vetting with a special focus on the several cultural and theological and ecclesiological differences between ‘western’ missionaries and the 1,000 year old Orthodox Church went unheeded.                                     Many of the soldiers enrolled in the first wave of enrolments in March 1992, eventually totalling several hundred, voiced concern about the ‘westernization’ of the Moscow Salvation Army. TSA Moscow can expect, according to Russian SA soldiers, a reversal in the rapid, historic growth and expansion of 1991-93 when the integrity of the Russian people was foremost. 

We sought partnership in mission. Our corps and brand were our most valuable assets, and mission belongs to the local corps emphasizing the importance of corps/outpost planting.                                        “Within weeks of the Ljungholms’ farewell from Moscow to ‘open fire’ in Ukraine, the SA worship form, style, symbols and mission emphasis waned. Two thriving corps plants and a large outpost project were abruptly closed without explanation. All three corps plants were soldier inspired and led with direction from the Ljungholms.”  

            In the last several decades there has been resurgence in the debate about Paul’s instructions to the church to initiate missionary projects outside their own geographical border;  “this is primarily the task of the apostles and of other missionaries whom the churches have commissioned. But Paul commends and praises the missionary commitment of individual churchesAnd he hopes that the believers' conversations and lifestyle in everyday situations will contribute to and support God's desire that more Jews and more Gentiles hearthe gospel of Jesus Christ.”
            What's striking about Paul's approach is that the church was at the heart of both ends of his mission, both sending people from home and mission in the field. The church was not only central to how people were sent; it was also central to what they did when they arrived.[1]


Our most important resource, faithful, committed, Christ-filled soldiers, conquered valiantly when divine goals ruled over antiquated rule books. 
            


The earliest ecclesiology for Salvationists is found in the Orders and Regulations. At first all evangelists, and later all officers, were engaged by the Founder and heard from his own lips what character and duties he expected of them. As the organisation grew, William Booth, Bramwell and Railton all spent much of their time on peripatetic inspections, encouraging and correcting the workers and their work. This proved increasingly unmanageable. Booth recalled that for a time he resorted to issuing “these instructions in the form of correspondence; but this also I soon found to be a task beyond my ability… I was therefore compelled to print such special directions as I had formerly issued in other forms.”[2]                                                                                          Leadership is indispensable to the effectiveness of a movement. It is not suggested that structure be abolished; the nature of human affairs is that structures will happen anyway, and their having some continuity, accountability and legitimacy may be necessary to help mitigate the effect of unrestrained personal power. As O’Dea says, “charismatic authority is inherently unstable and… its transformation into institutionalised leadership is necessary for the survival of the group..[3]                                   Our mission is what we are. If Christ lives within us, our ministry is merely sharing the Christ within us, sharing what we are with everyone, at home, on holiday, at the corps, everywhere and all the time.[4]
            Oh for a spirit of total recklessness, of entire self-abandonment, in order to win souls and overthrow the kingdom of hell.[5]                      




[1]  Chester, Tim  The Importance of the Local Church Mission Matters 2015
[2]William Booth, in Preface to Hulda Friederichs, Romance, pp. 7-8.
[3]Leadership in The  SA Harold Hill p.55
[4]Howard Webber http://fsaof.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/rekindling-fire-mordecai-part-one.html
[5]Booth, William  Full Salvation, 10 October, 1891                                          

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Address by patriarch Bartholomew to The Salvation Army (December 6, 2018)


Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
            Having journeyed to your beautiful and hospitable country from the historic See of Constantinople—the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the “Mother Church of Christ’s poor”—it is with joy that we accepted the gracious invitation of the esteemed leaders of the Salvation Army to participate in the inauguration of this blessed initiative to provide economic relief for the poor, broken and humbled members of our society. We truly appreciate all of your efforts on behalf of these the least of our brethren, and we wholeheartedly commend you for your selfless dedication and sincere desire to help them.
We find ourselves today serving witness to an exponential increase in the social problem of poverty, and an ensuing, ever-growing and dangerous expansion of the gap between the rich and poor. It is well- known that global poverty cannot be solved by political or social systems. It can only be solved by addressing the roots that perpetually feed it—human avarice and the insatiable desire for greater earthly pleasures, which in and of themselves constitute idolatry! (Col. 3:5)
Indeed, a rich person is not someone who accumulates riches, but rather someone who is content with moderation. A poor person is not someone who has very little, but someone who desires plenty. Saint Basil says, “poor is he, who needs a lot. Voracity makes us believe that we need a lot.”  The question is, then, how can the thirst for quick and easy profit, as well as illicit enrichment, be replaced by the ascetic spirit of frugality and moderation?
The Holy Fathers of the one, undivided Church of the first millennium, as true shepherds of the Church, endeavored to provide answers to the great social challenges of their time. Through the special charisma granted to them by God, they ceaselessly preached the Gospel’s word and truth; they possessed a resolute stance that was marked by an expression of true love for their poor, underprivileged and disregarded neighbors.
If the Church Fathers were alive today, there is no doubt that they would vigorously preach about our major social problems, such as poverty, human trafficking, the destruction of the natural environment, terrorism and violence, all of which, in turn, help to intensify the contemporary refugee crisis. Social injustice and the imbalanced distribution of material goods in the world are truly the source of all evil!
Therefore, in an age where the lack of true love is enormous—since so many people believe not in the God of Love but in Mammon—the word of the Church must be directed towards helping humanity find the path of true humanism and social justice. The economic theory of short-term profit and unfair competition must be replaced by the law of love, which “does not seek its own” (1 Cor.13:5) and always gives priority to the value of the human person. Instead of greed and avarice, which constitute the root “of all evil” (1 Tim. 6:10) and are based in unfaithfulness to God and His providence for our world, greater emphasis must be placed on ascetic morale, as it is proclaimed in the Good News of the Gospel.

According to Christian teaching, the ascetic way of life (i.e. to live simply and frugally) is not derived from a Manichaeistic contempt for material goods. On the contrary, it is derived out of respect and love for the creation of God. The effort to live by only what it is necessary and not by luxury or waste is based on two motives:
            First, it is based on our love and care for the needs of other people. For example, let us say that you only need a house with three rooms but instead choose live in a house with ten rooms. By doing this, you deprive the homeless from the other seven rooms. “The bread you have in your hands belongs to the hungry; the extra clothes you keep in your closet belong to the naked; the shoes that are rotting in your cupboards belong to the barefooted; the money that you have been amassing belongs to the needy. As you can see, what you do is an injustice to as many people as you can help.”
            Second, an ascetic way of life is absolutely necessary for the protection of the environment and the preservation of our sources of energy. If, today, we were to consume all of the earth’s natural resources, then what would be left for the generations of tomorrow?
            Furthermore, we would like to add that through an ascetic way of life, our humanity will also be preserved, since we will break away from our egocentric tendencies and, in turn, see to the vital needs of our neighbor and not to our own superfluous desires. Therefore, only an ascetic way of life will help to preserve the natural environment, which is constantly threatened by our selfish greed and thus, in danger of being completely destroyed.
            It is a fact that greed, luxury, opulence and avarice are, indeed, incompatible with the teaching of Christ. How can a wealthy Christian justify his wealth when there are so many poor around him? How can we justify the fact that while half of the human population of the earth is starving, a significant amount of the other half is practicing a slimming diet? Saint James, in his Universal Epistle, addresses the hard-hearted and merciless rich—who are indifferent to the plight of millions of poor people suffering from hunger—with the following words: “Your gold and silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be a witness against you and will eat your flesh like fire, and while the crisis is near, you have heaped up treasure.” (James 5:3)
When the day of death arrives—a natural phenomenon that makes no distinction between the wealthy and poor—what will those who, through their personal greed, amassed vast amounts of earthly treasures and distributed nothing to those in need take with them to the afterlife? Absolutely nothing. They will not even be able to take their own body with them, which is the most personal possession of every human being. They will leave it here on earth, and it will become a part of the soil; for, “wealth is not transported with us, nor does it travel on the journey to eternity.”
            Christ teaches us that any assistance we give to a neighbor in need is actually assistance to Him. “I affirm to you that inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.” (Mt. 25:40) For this reason, seventeen centuries ago, Saint Gregory the Theologian, our blessed predecessor and Archbishop of Constantinople, urged us to apply the virtue of charity as follows:

So for as long as there is time, then,
let us visit Christ;
let us take care of Him;
let us pick Him up and put Him up; 
let us honor Him ...
through those who are in need; 
through those who are currently in a terrible position;
so that they may welcome us in the heavenly kingdom, 
when we leave this world and go to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Poverty would not exist in our world if we followed the teachings of Christ and His Church. Unfortunately, though, poverty does exist, and it will continue to do so as long as we do not understand that material goods are provided by God and are to be shared by everyone. Poverty will continue as long as there is a surplus of wealth and a lack of love. Poverty will still exist as long as the ideal of social equality is not based on the belief that we are all equal before God the Father, and that we are all equal as brothers and sisters. Thus, the things that we have received from God do not only belong to us, but they also belong to all of those around us who are in need. This is the only way for equality to prevail. This is the path that Christ has drawn and, in all certainty, can lead us towards the solution of this social problem.
            Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We join you today because it is our deep conviction that all people of goodwill, as we proclaimed during the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in Crete (June 2016), should cooperate in “overcoming hunger and all other forms of deprivation in the world. One such phenomenon in our time—whereby nations operate within a globalized economic system—points to the world’s serious identity crisis, for hunger not only threatens the divine gift of life of whole peoples, but also offends the lofty dignity and sacredness of the human person, while simultaneously offending God. Therefore, if concern over our own sustenance is a material issue, then concern over feeding our neighbor is a spiritual issue (James 2:14-18). Consequently, it is the mission of all Orthodox Churches to exhibit solidarity and administer assistance effectively to those in need.” (The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World, F:5)
Please permit us to underscore, then—with much paternal love to all of you—that our charity should, first and foremost, be addressed to our brothers and sisters in North Korea. Purely for humanitarian reasons alone, we must strive to protect our neighbors and, in particular, the young children in North Korea, who are dying from hunger due to the embargo that has been placed on their country. And so, we call upon the mighty and influential individuals in today’s world—something which we, of course, promise to also raise in our discussions and communications with the political personalities of the Western world—to come up with alternative ways of imposing sanctions for violations of international regulations, so that the deprivation of food, medicines and other primary necessities may be avoided. If peace is, indeed, achieved in the Korean Peninsula—a joyous reality for which we all ceaselessly pray and earnestly desire—but, in the meantime, thousands of innocent victims perish in order to procure it, then, this would be a wounded and blood-soaked peace. Hence, we must proclaim unto the ends of the earth that the protection of human rights in North Korea and, most especially, the rights of children, are a matter of top priority.
            Therefore, dearly beloved, in the collection of love, which the Salvation Army organizes every year throughout the world, let each of us “give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or [out] of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7) “Let brotherly love continue.” (Heb. 13:1) May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the infinite love of the all-merciful God be with you all. Amen.
Thank you for your kind attention.

Friday, March 15, 2019

2019 Easter Season: O Come Let Us Adore Him!: Exploring the Names of God






Lent Week 2: What’s in a Name?-- Jesus

     Each of God’s/Jesus’ names denotes an aspect of His multi-faceted character, which we will discover as we explore the Names of God during this Easter Season. I pray that as we do so, we will be more equipped to adore and serve the One Whom gave His life for you and for me! Hallelujah!
     When we consider Advent and Lent, we recognize that they are inextricably linked. The observance of the former is connected to Jesus’ first arrival on earth, while the latter commemorates His death, crucifixion, and resurrection, and celebrates the anticipation of Christ’s 2nd Coming to Earth. In the instance of Jesus’ 1st Coming, He came as a Holy Spirit-implanted embryo in the virgin Mary’s womb. When He appears for His 2nd Coming, He will come as the triumphant King of Kings! And so, this week we will explore the name of Jesus and its significance.
     When I was a young teen, one of my older sisters had a baby boy, who was born prematurely and barely weighed 5 lbs. The customary practice in our family was to give each child a first and middle name, and there was something rhythmic and lyrical in these chosen name pairings. Therefore, we were surprised with my sister’s break from tradition when she announced her newborn son had three names—a first name and two middle names. In jest we noted that it was a long name for such a little boy but that he had many years to ‘grow into it.’
     Remembering my nephew’s longer name reminded me of the prophecies announcing Jesus’ name: Jesus, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Immanuel/Emmanuel, Son of God. [See Isaiah 9:5; Matthew 1:23; Matthew 1:21] Wow! There was this little newborn baby boy with a long name that broke from the Jewish tradition of naming one’s baby. However, nobody was joking about Jesus ‘growing into’ His long name, because this was no ordinary baby but the long-awaited Messiah.
     The origin of the name “Jesus” is from the Greek language and is a form of the Hebrew name, Yeshu’a, which translates into the English language as “Joshua”. It means “God’s salvation”, which is precisely what the angel Gabriel said to Mary, ““Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end,” (Luke 1: 30-33). And in Matthew 1:21, we see the emphasis on why Mary was to call the child entrusted into her care “Jesus”: “...because he will save his people from their sins."
     The Son of God was given the name “Jesus”, because He would save His people from their sins and eternal separation from God. And John 1: 12 promises, “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” And because of this promise, we, who have accepted the salvation Jesus offers, have also become God’s children.

     What’s in a name? Jesus: Salvation! Hallelujah! O Come Let Us Adore Jesus Our Salvation and Giver of Eternal Life! Hallelujah!



Suggested Daily Scripture Readings:

Saturday- Isaiah 7: 14
Sunday- Isaiah 9: 2-3; 6-7
Monday- Matthew 1: 18-23
Tuesday- Acts 2: 38-39
Wednesday- Acts 4: 1-12
Thursday- Romans 10:1-13
Friday- 1 Corinthians 6:11


Blessings & Peace

Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)
Canada

Monday, March 11, 2019






From the book: Return to Battle in Russia and Beyond  Volume II

Moscow’s Red Square  (Russian: Кра́сная пло́щадь, tr. Krásnaya plóshchaď) is Russia’s largest parade ground. It is almost 4 times longer and 20 yards wider than a US football field, and more than 3 times the length and wider than the average Premier League stipulated pitch size    
Warmly outfitted in our regimental best; scarves, gloves hats and model C overcoats Kathie and I  held hands and strolled across the massive square, mostly in silence assessing the immensity of the square.                                                              
Red Square is the largest and most famous square in Russia, possessing a magnetic pull for all visitors to Moscow. Standing in Red Square, one can see the most significant buildings in the capital: the Kremlin, GUM department store, the State History Museum, Lenin's Mausoleum, St Basil's Cathedral and of course, the 15th century Spasskaya Tower (Спасская башня, tr.Spas
skaya Bashnya), where we stopped near the 'Saviour Tower'.                                                                                    According to the historical account in our guidebook, Christopher Galloway, a Scottish engineer and architect worked in Russia during the reign of Tsar Mikhail (1621–1645) and built the clock on the Spasskaya Tower which overlooks the Red Square. It is usually referred to as the Kremlin chimes(Кремлёвские куранты) and designates official Moscow Time. Posing a 20 feet diameter clock face the Kremlin Clock dial is above the main gates to Red Square. For decades, the chimes have rung on the quarter-hour, with bells tolling at noon. The gate of Spasskaya Tower was used to greet dignitaries, and was also used during formal ceremonies or processions. The tower gate was once the main entrance into the Kremlin.                                                                                Every day, at exactly 12 noon, a tall, inconspicuous-looking man with dishevelled dark hair walks quietly on to Red Square, cocks his ears and listens carefully to the 40-second bell-song of the Russian national anthem. This man, Oleg Tsitsinov, is responsible for ensuring that the bells are in tune and that the song is performed correctly. 
"The Russians have always regarded the Spasskaya Tower with great reverence.” [1]  We observed people passing through the gates honoring the custom of crossing themselves, and the men bowing slightly or doffing their hats to show their respect.                                                 
We strolled past and gazed at the 16th century St. Basil’s Cathedral without comment, and walked across the vast parade ground following the outline of GUM department store.
Red Square was almost empty of people except the hundreds who’d queued up for two hours, or more, in the early winter chill waiting to enter the stark sixty-one year old granite mausoleum holding Lenin's remains.
            Across the square running the length of the old GUM department store, standing shoulder to shoulder were elderly Muscovites.                            
            On one side of the square much of the former Soviet spirit remained. Most of those in the queue were babushkas, elderly widows with flowers in one hand and the other pulling their headscarf ever tighter against the wind chill.
  On the other side of the massive parade ground a Soviet time capsule was on display as Soviet remnants of the party’s promises were being hawked for kopeks on the rouble. Military medals, Icons, silver ware, used clothing, art work, with all hoping for enough return to buy some bread, sausage, and for the old men, a bottle of vodka. The massive nation’s tumultuous social and economic turmoil defined our appointment; missionaries to the former Soviet Union.

We' arrived in Moscow, our new home just 6 days ago, and our morning was taken up conducting our 1st SA religious service -  107 in attendance, 39 prayed publicly for salvation, and 52 attended our very first soldier recruit class. As I moved about our meeting room had a full view of the square below and behind it, the KGB headquarters... 


[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spasskaya_Tower

Friday, March 8, 2019

Larsson to the Finlandya Station




“What I have had in my hands,
I lost it all,
but what I have placed
in the hands of God,
lasts forever.
Martin Luther

In his book, Leadership in The Salvation Army, Harold Hill (NZ retired SA officer) writes: “History is usually a seamless garment and the transition from one stage to another with such an organization (The Salvation Army) is difficult to pin down…. Booth set about building those who remained, and their converts, into a fighting force.”[1]With their hearts set on fire and filled with the Holy Spirit, generation after generation have gone forth to win the world for Jesus, sharing the joyful news of salvation converging on country after country.
Yet, there are irreplaceable remnants of that fabric, tattered and torn, eras where corporate memory has largely been forgotten. The case of The Salvation Army’s valiant advances in the Russian empire during its decade long presence from 1913 to 1923 remains largely untold. Was it a question of the victories being judged insignificant and the battlefield occupations too brief? Or, with Salvationist missionaries sent by the hundreds to the southern hemisphere was a band of ten assigned to Russia’s cold climes less dramatic and not deserving of the same recognition? Did the setbacks outnumber the advances and their history left better untold? Or did the Army’s banishment warrant diminishing, or in some instances exclusion, from official Army records.

If the Salvation Army’s history in its entirety should one day be divided, probably no part would be more interesting than the description of the attempt to plant its (Salvation Army) banner in the vast Russian Empire’s soil that was made during the years 1913 – 1923…. The experience of these ten years in Russia is so interesting, instructive and inspiring, that they deserve to be known more widely than has been the case. It speaks about work, self-denial and suffering for Christ’s sake, all urging a younger generation of Salvationists to a daring outpouring on their Master’s behalf. If that happens, something positive has been gained, and maybe the benefit will be that once again the gates of the Russian empire will open for us and other of God’s servants…. Karl Larsson, Stockholm 1 April 1937[2)




[1]Hill, Harold. Leadership in The Salvation Army, p. 45.
[2]Larsson, Karl Tio År I Ryssland p.5

April 1937, The Salvation Army in Sweden published SA Commissioner Karl Larsson’s book, Ten Years in Russia. The book received wide attention and was reprinted in several editions. Disappointingly, it was never translated into the English language, which meant that its story never became known outside the Scandinavian countries. Now, with the publication of Sven Ljungholm's book a wide chasm is bridged. It’s a story of love for the Russian people and the pioneers’ zeal to bring the Gospel message to the vast Russian empire. Moscow: The March 1917 revolution occurred, bringing complete freedom to the Salvation Army allowing it to conduct religious meetings. 

During Easter 1917, the first Army march in Russia, along Petrograd’s Nevsky Prospect was organized. To the tune of:
“Rouse, Then, 
Soldiers, 
Rally Round the Banner,” 

sounded out on Colonel Larsson’s concertina twenty Salvationists marched to the meeting venue. Thousands watched and 450 of the onlookers were attracted to a public meeting which filled the hall to overflowing. In Ten Years in Russia Larsson addresses the reader: If the Salvation Army’s history in its entirety should one day be divided, probably no part would be more interesting than the description of the attempt to plant its banner in the vast Russian Empire’s soil. Sven Nilsson, Commissioner, retired, Sweden
 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Lenin Toward the Arctic Circle

There was an anxious moment which has remained in my memory. German officers were waiting for us and directed us into the customs hall.         
                                        On the basis of our agreement they were not entitled to ask for our papers. In the customs hall they kept men and women separated, so that on the way it was impossible for one of us to vanish or to substitute a Russian Bolshevik for a German maiden, in order to plant the seeds of the revolution. (I very much wanted to do so, since I as an Austrian could have done so quite legitimately, but Ilyich was against it.) We waited in silence and in a very anxious mood. Lenin stood – surrounded by the comrades – peacefully against the wall. We didn’t want them to keep him under observation.                                                          
 When we finally settled into the coach, we began to have trouble with Vladimir Ilyich. We put him and Nadezhda Konstantinovna in a separate compartment – at which he protested – so that he would be able to work in peace. But during the journey we didn’t let him get much work done! In the neighbouring compartment were comrade Safarov and his wife, comrade Olga Ravich, Inessa Armand and I.                                                                                                                       At this time to be sure we were not yet arguing with Safarov about opportunism, but all the same we made a lot of noise in the compartment. Late in the evening Ilyich rushed into our compartment, to remove comrade Olga Ravich, because he thought she and I were mainly responsible for the noise. In order to establish the truth before history and the Control Commission, I must here testify that comrade Olga has always been a serious party member, and that it was I alone who was telling anecdotes and was therefore guilty of making a noise. So comrade Olga left our compartment in splendid isolation.                                           Ilyich worked throughout the journey. He read, made entries in notebooks, but also concerned himself with organisational questions. Admittedly the matter is a very delicate one, but I shall nonetheless recount it. There was a constant conflict between the smokers and the non-smokers about a certain location in the carriage. We could not smoke in the compartment, because of the little four-year-old Robert and because of Ilyich, who would not tolerate it. Hence the smokers tried to convert a room which normally served other purposes into a smokers’ lounge. Hence outside this room there was a permanent crowd of bickering people. So Ilyich cut a piece of paper in two and distributed permits. For every three tickets of category A for the legitimate use of the premises there was one smoker’s ticket. This naturally evoked further discussions about the value of human needs, and we acutely regretted that comrade Bukharin was not with us, as a specialist in Böhm Bawerk’s theory about marginal utility.                                   I think it was in Karlsruhe that Platten informed us that a member of the German trade-union leadership, Janson, was on the train, and that he brought us greetings from Legien and the German trade-union leaders. Ilyich instructed us to tell him to go to “the devil’s grandmother” and refused to meet him. Since Janson knew me, and since I as an Austrian was travelling as a stowaway, the comrades were afraid that it might become known that I was travelling with them. Clearly it was my fate from the very beginning to cause difficulties for comrade Chicherin in his diplomatic relations with Germany. So I was hidden in the luggage compartment and left with a supply of about fifty newspapers, so that I would keep quiet and not cause a scandal. Poor Janson was sent by Platten into the carriage of the German officers who were accompanying us. Despite this snub he showed great concern for us, bought the German newspapers for us at every station, and was offended when Platten reimbursed him for them                                  In Frankfurt the train stopped for a long time, and the platform was sealed off by the military. Suddenly the cordon was broken, as German soldiers came rushing up to us. They had heard that Russian revolutionaries, who were in favour of peace, were travelling through. Each of them held a jug of beer in both hands. Excitedly they asked us whether and when peace was coming. This mood told us more about the situation than was useful for the German government. The incident was all the more characteristic, since the soldiers were all Scheidemanns. After this we saw nobody else on the journey. In Berlin the platform was cordoned off by the police. So we continued as far as Sassnitz, where we boarded the Swedish steamer. Here we were required to comply with the usual formalities and were asked to fill in a questionnaire. Ilyich suspected a trap and advised us to use pseudonyms, which later led to a comic misunderstanding. The steamer’s radio got a query from our comrade Ganetsky at Trelleborg, as to whether there was an Ulyanov on board. The captain knew from the questionnaire that there was no Ulyanov in the party, but just in case he asked whether there might not perhaps be a Mr Ulyanov among us. Ilyich hesitated for a long time, then admitted that it was he; Ganetsky was now informed of our approach.                                                                                            In Trelleborg  (Sweden) we made a very “striking” impression. Ganetsky invited us all to supper which in the Swedish fashion involved a “Smörgasbord”. We poor fellows, who in Switzerland had been accustomed to have no more than a herring for our dinner, looked at this enormous table with innumerable hors d’oeuvre: we rushed at it like a swarm of grasshoppers and completely emptied the table, to the astonishment of the waiters, who were used to seeing only civilised people at the Smörgas table. Vladimir Ilyich ate nothing. He tried to find out from Ganetsky everything he could about the Russian revolution – but Ganetsky knew nothing. The next morning we arrived in Stockholm. Swedish comrades, journalists and photographers were waiting for us. At the head of the Swedish comrades was Dr Karleson in a top-hat, an inflated chatterer who now, fortunately, has returned from the Communist Party to Branting’s camp. But at that time he greeted us as the most solid of the Swedish Left Socialists and took the chair together with the honourable and sentimental mayor of Stockholm, Lindhagen, at the breakfast which was given in our honour (Sweden is distinguished from all other countries by the fact that at every opportunity a breakfast is organised; when the social revolution comes in Sweden, the first thing they will do is give a breakfast in honour of the retiring bourgeoisie, and then a breakfast in honour of the new revolutionary regime). It was probably the sight of our solid Swedish comrades which aroused in us the powerful desire for Ilyich to look something like a human being. We persuaded him to at least buy some new boots. He had travelled in mountain boots with enormous nails. Even if he wanted to ruin the footpaths of the nauseating Swiss bourgeois cities with these boots, we told him, his conscience must forbid him to take these tools of destruction to Petrograd, where perhaps there were no pavements left at all. Together with the Jewish worker Chapin who knew the local customs and conditions, I went with Ilyich to a Stockholm department store. There we bought some shoes for Ilyich, and nagged him to equip himself with other items of clothing. He resisted as best he could, and asked us if we thought he wanted to open a ready-made clothing shop in Petrograd. But finally we prevailed and also provided him with a pair of trousers which I found he was still wearing when I came to Petrograd in October, admittedly in the deformed condition they had acquired under the influence of the Russian Revolution. In Stockholm Parvus tried to meet Lenin as a representative of the central committee of the German Social Democracy, but Ilyich not only refused to meet him, but charged me, Vorovsky and Ganetsky, together with the Swedish comrades to make a formal record of this attempt. The whole day passed in discussions; we went here and there; but before Lenin left another 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

ASH WEDNESDAY 2019







2019 Easter Season: O Come Let Us Adore Him!: Exploring the Names of God


What is Ash Wednesday?


Today, Ash Wednesday, is the beginning of the Lenten Season, which begins 40 days before Easter, is observed by Christians globally, and marks the time of preparation for Jesus Christ’s Resurrection. The Bible doesn’t mention ‘Ash Wednesday”, which customarily includes the practice of religious leaders marking the foreheads of participants with black ashes, in the form of a cross, while they say, 'For dust you are and to dust you shall return' (Genesis 3:19). The ashes symbolize a sign of repentance and humility, a practice that was noted throughout the Scriptures (e.g., the repentant response of the king of Nineveh after Jonah delivered God’s message that the city would be destroyed). Although the observance of Ash Wednesday was initiated by Catholics, many Protestant denominations now participate in this day of commemoration. The period of 40 days represents Jesus’ period of fasting in the wilderness before He began His public ministry. Join these two practices together—repentance and humility, with fasting—and you have the essential elements of Ash Wednesday. Ordinarily, fasting is required of those who observe Lent. However, this has expanded to Christians vowing to deny themselves of favourite foods, to give up bad habits, or to practice greater humility.




What is Lent?




Do you celebrate Lent? (In some churches, it's known as a period of 'Self-Denial'). The traditional focus of Lent has been on sacrificing/self-denial/giving something up. In more recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on spiritual renewal, too. I have also followed this pattern in my own observations of Lent, with a focus on holistic renewal and balance in all aspects of my life, including spiritual growth. The time-honoured purpose of Lent has been the preparation of believers via prayer, repentance of sins, giving to charity, atonement, and self-denial as they ready their hearts and minds to celebrate Christ’s crucifixion and Resurrection.
You will recall from the Introduction to the 2019 Easter Season, that we will be continuing the theme from the 2018 Christmas Season, “O Come Let Us Adore Him.” As we continue with this theme, we will do so via exploring the names of God, which reveal His character to us. As we know and understand Who He is, we are better able to grow in our adoration of Him, too.
As you join me for this journey to the Cross, I pray that you will be renewed and encouraged, because the Scriptures tell us to encourage each other: “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing,” (Thessalonians 5:11, NLT); “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near,” (NLT)). May we draw closer to Him as we we prepare our hearts and lives to meditate and celebrate the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. O Come Let Us Adore Him! Hallelujah!



Blessings & Peace

Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer (pastor)
Canada

Lenin and his merry band; So we set off....



To The FINLANDLYA STATION




With the February Revolution in 1917, Vladimir Ilyich became convinced that the Entente German powers would never allow him and his comrades to make the journey through to Russia, there were still two possibilities available: either we could try to travel through Germany illegally, or we could travel with the knowledge of the authorities.

Crossing illegally entailed the greatest risk, firstly because we could very easily be detained for a long time, and also because we found it hard to distinguish between the traffickers whose services we should require and German government spies. If the Bolsheviks had to come to an agreement with the German government about their journey across the country, then this had to happen in a completely open fashion, in order to lessen the danger which this whole affair might conjure up against Lenin as leader of the proletarian revolution. Hence we were all in favour of an open agreement. On behalf of Vladimir Ilyich I turned, in association with Paul Levi, who at the time was a member of the Spartacus group, and who was temporarily staying in Switzerland, to the representative of the Frankfurter Zeitung (Frankfurt Daily Newspaper), who was known to us. If I am not mistaken, it was a Dr Deinhard. Through him we asked the German Ambassador Romberg whether Germany would allow émigrés returning to Russia to pass through its territory. In turn, Romberg enquired of the Foreign Ministry in Berlin and received a reply that was in principle favourable. Thereupon we elaborated the conditions on which we were willing to undertake the journey through Germany. The main conditions were as follows: the German government should allow all applicants to pass through, without asking for their names; those travelling through should enjoy the protection of extraterritoriality and nobody would be entitled to enter into negotiations of any sort with them during their journey.


Lenin and the other exiled revolutionaries believed that conditions ensuring their safe crossing through Germany in return for suggesting a political alliance. and the Germans hope that in Russia the Bolsheviks would act as opponents of the war and declared themselves in agreement with our conditions. Ludendorff’s (leader of the German war efforts during World War I)memoirs, for he is still tearing his hair out over the fact that he let the Bolsheviks through; he has finally grasped that in so doing he was not performing a service for German imperialism, but for the world revolution.


So we set off and travelled in a Swiss train as far as Schaffhausen, where we had to change into the German train.



There was an anxious moment which has remained in my memory. German officers were waiting for us and directed us into the customs hall where the number of living items of ammunition which they were transporting to Russia had to be established. On the basis of our agreement they were not entitled to ask for our papers. In the customs hall they kept men and women separated, so that on the way it was impossible for one of us to vanish or to substitute a Russian Bolshevik for a German maiden, in order to plant the seeds of the revolution. (I very much wanted to do so, since I as an Austrian could have done so quite legitimately, but Ilyich was against it.) We waited in silence and in a very anxious mood. Lenin stood – surrounded by the comrades – peacefully against the wall. We didn’t want them to keep him under observation. When we finally settled into the coach, we began to have trouble with Vladimir Ilyich.







We put him and Nadezhda Konstantinovna in a separate compartment – at which he protested – so that he would be able to work in peace. But during the journey we didn’t let him get much work done! In the neighbouring compartment were comrade Safarov and his wife, comrade Olga Ravich, Inessa Armand and I. At this time to be sure we were not yet arguing with Safarov about opportunism, but all the same we made a lot of noise in the compartment. Late in the evening Ilyich rushed into our compartment, to remove comrade Olga Ravich, because he thought she and I were mainly responsible for the noise. In order to establish the truth before history and the Control Commission, I must here testify that comrade Olga has always been a serious party member, and that it was I alone who was telling anecdotes and was therefore guilty of making a noise. So comrade Olga left our compartment in splendid isolation.[1]



[1]
Radek, Karl  Through Germany in the Sealed Coach  1924



Originally published in German in Fritz Platten, Die Reise Lenins durch Deutschland im  , Berlin 1924, pp. 62–66. [1]