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10 August 2008

new rss feed address

Hi - just incase your reader doesn't self adjust, the new rss address for the new Rous Family website/blog is http://houseofrous.viviti.com/entries.atom. put that in your listing and miss nothing! See you at the new site

07 August 2008

New Family Website

I am pleased to reveal to you now our new family website/blog. Been testing (read playing) the new web creator package from the guys at viviti.com for a little while now both for this site and for Catch the Fire too. That one will go live shortly, but ready with the family one first. The address is http://houseofrous.viviti.com. It contains a blog, resource sharing pages, daily Bible reading, links, photos, contact details and the potential for so much more.

So, this is the last post here on this blog as everything will transfer over to the viviti site. If you follow us via an RSS feed, you'll need to amend it to read http://houseofrous.viviti.com/blog and then you'll continue to be updated regularly as before.

This blog will not be deleted as strange things will happen with the address. It will simply remain live with this post showing to link you over to the new site.

Should say, if you like the look of viviti.com then give me a shout and i'll send you an invite as they're still in beta testing so you cant get in unless your name's on the list!!

So, adios to blogger. See you over at viviti.


Read this in a devotional today. Reminded me about how its the little, simple things of this world that God uses more than the big flash actions:
Sometimes I think God looks at the little boy with the loaves instead of the grown man with the fancy plans. He looks at the woman with the perfume bottle rather than the spiritual leader hosting the lunch. He looks at the boy with the sling rather than the army.
I've had to make some decisions recently about the things I do for God so that I cut back and do a few things really well rather than scrape by on lots of activities. This devotional today really helped me to know that I am making the right decisions. Especially the comparison between what God did with a few loaves of bread compared to the man with lots of flash ideas. You see, the things I do, I do because I want to - I enjoy them. Most of the stuff that needs doing around me I enjoy and can do, and so I do it. But I know I am doing too much and as a result, I don't give my all to the things I do.

So welcome to the new streamlined Dan! I have a couple more things to break free of but that will happen when the time is right over the next few weeks. But this is my vow - to make sure I do what I can for God - however small it may be - and making sure I have plenty of time for my family too.

06 August 2008

The road to WBC ... continued

Many of you will know that today we had a kind of interview as part of our continuing process to training to be full-time ministers (Officers) in The Salvation Army. Having jumped through a number of expected hoops willingly, and having completed our application forms, we were then told the system has been upgraded (posh word for changed!) and we would need to complete a new set of application forms that had now grown to about 22 A4 pages!! It is no secret that we moaned a little bit (understatement) about this but agreed to completing the forms anyway. Its been a bit mad since we got them and they got left on the desk and what with doing the meeting last week they got left even longer! So they got started on Sunday night and just about finished this morning. I won't give much away and certainly don't want to put down a system that is there for a reason, but there are some bizarre questions on there!!

Anyway, this was leading to a kind of interview thing that was happening today. To be honest, we didn't really know what was to be expected of today other than that it was just with our Director of Personnel (DDP) and was to be held in an informal way at the Corps over a couple of hours of speaking with our Corps Officers and then with us. So our DDP arrived and spoke with our officers for about 45 mins going through our forms at the same time. We were then called in for a couple of en-masse questions before our COs left us to face what turned out to be 36 pre-prepared questions that are part of the whole process now and will be asked to every applicant! Again a bizarre mix of questions but all there for good reasons.

It took about an hour to go through the questions which we had to answer individually. Whatever - its done now!

The encouraging part of the "interview" was that our DDP said she and the divisional team would be pushing for us to be on an Assessment Conference this side of Christmas. For those who don't know, this is a weekend of interviews and tasks that will aid those in the know to see if we're suitable to be officers. It will be held at TSA's conference centre in Sunbury, Nr Kingston upon Thames - a nice place but we probably won't get much chance to enjoy the surroundings!

So thats the latest - i'll update you as we know more. In the meantime, thanks for all your thoughts and prayers as we crawl our way through this process to fulfilling the calling that God has placed on our lives.

Isaiah 55

Last Sunday, it was my privilege to share the Word of God at our home Corps of Glenrothes Salvation Army. We love being able to preach/lead worship wherever, but theres something special about sharing with your own folk. Anyway, I was led by an email devotional to turn to Isaiah 55 so I did! Its an amazing chapter and I found myself preparing a step by step (expositional if you want a big word) guide to the chapter. It seemed to go down well and opened up a couple of great conversations afterwards which is even better.

So, I'm pleased to be able to share a number of things with you. There's the sermon text which I mostly stuck to but did stray from a few times then the audio recording to listen to the sermon. Near the start, I refer to a junk mail envelope which was shown on the screens so have shared that picture with you too. Also, for the response time, i used a video of Chris Tomlin's version of Amazing Grace that was a spin off from the recent film of the same name. I've given you the link to the You Tube file of this film.

So, enjoy and be blessed/challenged by these resources. Would love to hear any comments from you about them.

Isaiah 55 ... DOC
Isaiah 55 ... MP3
Envelope ... JPG
Amazing Grace Link

30 July 2008

blog roll

Missed one blog off the last update. Alex "Aldakila" Thomson from Erskine Salvation Army writes over at Wonderings of a life wanderer
Sorry Alex - didn't mean to miss you off! (Should add Alex hasn't chased me to do this!!!)

27 July 2008

Blog Roll update

Its been ages since I sorted the list of blogs detailed over on the right of this blog. My list of reading in Google Reader has changed many times and yet I haven't updated my links so sorry about that. As a result, this seems like a radical change but reflects about 6 months worth of changes!!

Anyway, first and foremost, some people have to go. So taking their leave are:

Olwyn Mathie (Olly is a good friend but signed off from blogging a while back)
Matt Little (Matt seems to have stopped blogging - haven't heard from him in ages)
Anita Parker (Similarly, I've only seen updates from Anita over on Facebook!)
The Garnhams (Sad one this as you know that Nicola Garnham is now with God. The blog was set up to cover her time of ill health and has now ceased.)
Kevin Avis (Not a lot of updates lately)

Right, thats the sad bit - now for the numerous additions:

Adam Howie
Friend and artist from Edinburgh Gorgie SA. He does some great art work and there are links on his blog to various sites where you can purchase his work - please support this lovely Christian guy.
Sam Davies
Sam is a fellow Officership applicant and worships at Peterhead SA. C-A has known Sam for a longtime and i met Sam a few months back and was encouraged by her passion for Jesus.
John and Marta Ager
Where do I start! I only know John and Marta through the internet but they are Commanding Officers of The Salvation Army in Gainsborough. We have become good friends and I am pleased to have been able to share many good online conversations with them. They have a lot of blogs! John has one for Messages (Sermons etc); one for Officer thoughts; one for random stuff; and one called Two Mugs - kind of speaks for itself! Marta has three: Vineyard; Harvest and Vintage - all relating to different stages of faith. All their blogs are well worth a look.
Jonathan Blundell
Came to know JD through Thomas Mathie. JD is over in Dallas Texas and amongst other things, is part of "Encounter" (see web links for this one!). Been really blessed by his comments so check them out for yourself.
Judy Schultz
Just recently 'met' Judy via Plurk (If you don't know what Plurk is then check the weblinks!) Anyway, Judy and her husband Nigel are SA development officers in the Barking area of Essex. She has a great wealth of experience and seems a great laugh to boot.

Thats it for the blog updates. A few changes made to the web links so have a look there too please. Thanks for checking by.

26 July 2008

Updates from my blog reading

So much is going on I need/want to blog about but have been spurred on tonight to blog some stuff from my catching up on Google Reader. Here's a summary of my thoughts together with links as appropriate:

A while back, I wrote about the demise of the chain of bookshops formerly operated by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge. To summarise, they were taken over/sold onto the Society of St Stephen the Great (SSG). It has transpired that SSG is, shall we say, not the nicest group and has very fixed ideas which don't fit well with the Christian faith. Slowly but surely, the rot set in - suppliers were cut; certain key Christian books were banned from sale. Then staff were issued with new contracts totally changing work patterns and contravening so many employment laws. Now, nearly all SPCK/SSG shops have closed and a number of ex-staff are taking the now liquidated SSG to employment tribunals. One guy who has kept us up to date with the news is Dave Walker, cartoonist for the Church Times. In the last week, and while Dave is in Canterbury as cartoonist in residence at the Lambeth Conference, he was served with a "Cease and Desist" notice from lawers in Texas where SSG was based. He had to remove all SPCK/SSG posts from his blog which he duly did. He was then made to remove the blog post that explained the censorship - even that was censored. It is a travesty of justice that such a thing has happened. So, when I came to todays post from ASBO Jesus, I was lifted. Well done to Jon Birch for not being afraid to stand up and be counted. SPCK is gone as a bookseller - that cannot be gone back on. But memories remain and these have been smashed to pieces by the un-Christian dealings of SSG. I used to work for SPCK hence my interest. I pray that sense will reign in this situation especially with this cease and desist rubbish and the important employment tribunals.

Related Links for this one:
Dave Walker
ASBO Jesus v SSG (also follow other links contained in the text for more info)
SPCK/SSG News blog
Chaplaincy for the Olympics
Have linked up recently with Salvation Army Officer, Major Judy Schultz, who is Research and Development Officer for the Barking Riverside Development Project. Anyway, been reading through her blog and came across a couple of things to share. Firstly, was interested to read that there is a chaplain to the Olympic Construction site and plans to get 15 volunteer chaplains to assist in the ministry! Fantastic - lets hope the Christian input at this development stage leads to some meaningful Christian Output in 2012.

Related link
Tea4two-two4tea blog (visit to stratford)
Who cares
Was pleased to get this reminder (again from Judy) about one of William Booths quotes. This one is a real challenge to The Salvation Army today:
"I do not want another ecclesiastical Corps cumbering the earth. When The Salvation Army ceases to be a militant body of red-hot men and women whose supreme business is the saving of souls, I hope it will vanish utterly".
I may comment further on this statement at a later date but welcome comments in the meantime.

Related Link
tea4two-two4tea (who cares)
For those who don't know, Alove is the former Youth Department of TSA - infact it still is the Youth Dept but labelled as TSA for a new generation. Never been sure about the name thing but blessed by what they've been doing. Anyway, it was announced in the last week that Russ Rook, Alove Director, is leaving at the end of October to start something new and exciting. Russ has been working for TSA from the old Mission Team days with Phil Wall for 18 years and has served well throughout that time. He's a real inspiration and I want to wish him well in his new venture. His replacement has now been announced and its interesting to see the job title is now Territorial Youth Secretary/Director of Alove - looks like TSA is trying to pull Alove back in line a little - time will tell what happens I guess but pleased to see Captains Mark and Andrea Sawyer will be the eventual replacements in May 09. I'm sure I know them but have certainly heard of them and what I've heard tells me they are the right people for the job. I wish them all well and will watch with interest. Lets hope the William Booth quote above doesn't come into play.

Related links
Alove - Russell Rook resigns
Alove - New appointment

Well, that will do for now in my blog roundup - may be more in a few days.

Whilst i've added these links, I am not responsible for the content of other sites

18 July 2008

My eldest is 3 today!

Yes, today, 18 July 2008, my first born - Kathryn Rosie Alice Rous - turns 3. I know...3! It doesn't seem possible that 3 years ago today she was this small:
I had such a steep learning curve with Kathryn. I had never changed a nappy in my life let alone try to dress/undress a tiny wriggling human! And as for tights....

But we survived those first months and I wouldn't have had it any other way.

In the middle of our move to Glenrothes, and a few days before coming down with Chicken Pox, Kathryn had her first birthday. By now, she was really developing her own personality - being a real mix of C-A and I.

And then, safely holed up in glenrothes, a year ago we shared with family and friends including corps folk, for her 2nd birthday! What a grown up girl she was getting - and so quickly too!!
And now here we are, three years on and with another mouth to feed since Hannah came along 5 months ago. Kathryn loves her little "stister" (as we do too of course!!) and I think she'll be quite protective of her in the years ahead!
So this is my firstborn. She starts at nursery 5 afternoons a week from the end of august. And we're getting her a little uniform from the School nursery too ... how scary and grown up is that?!

I give thanks to God for her. Carol-Anne and I are very blessed to have such gorgeous children.

But who knows what mischief they'll get up to in the years ahead!!We pray God's blessing and protection on them, and on us as a family, in all that we face in the time ahead especially with a possible big move down to London.

So, for now, lets hear a big cheer please - as Kathryn Rous turns 3!!