August 2021 Inspire Newsletter

In a world of social media, it is easy to compare ourselves with others. We see perfect homes, families and lives on on-line and we wish we could be the other person.

This month’s theme is “Just Be… Uniquely You!” You don’t need to be anyone else, but be the person God created you to be. This month’s Bible reading plan helps us focus on our identity in Christ, who God says we are.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

In the words of Taylor Swift, “Just be yourself, there is no one better!”

Need previous issues of the INSPIRE Newsletter?  They can be found at the following links:  July 2021, June 2021May 2021, April 2021March 2021February 2021, January 2021 December 2020November 2020October 2020September 2020August 2020July 2020June 2020May 2020April 2020March 2020February 2020January 2020December 2019November 2019October 2019October 2018-September 2019

August Games & Activities: Fun in the Son/Sun

By Major Shari Fowler
Secretary for Program – Adult Rehabilitation Centers Command

No craft idea this month, but enjoy these games and activities out in the sunshine.

Squirt Gun Painting

Set up easels or attach large water-color art paper to an outside wall, tree or hang on a clothesline. Fill squirt guns with liquid water-color paint and fire away! (No squirt guns? Use spray bottles).

Bucket Ball

Set up 12 plastic sand buckets, 6 on each side and using tennis balls or small, squishy water bomb balls, have teams take turns tossing the ball in the buckets. Team with the most in the buckets after each round, wins.

Human Ring Toss

Yep, just what is says. Use inflatable pool rings and try to “ring” them on a volunteer. Team with the most “ringers” after each round, wins!

Sensory Discovery Walk

Take your group for a walk in the sunshine. You can go to a park, lake, river, mountain, beach or just around the Corps center. As you walk along, stop and ask people to name 5 things they see, 4 things they hear, 3 things they smell, 2 things they can touch, and 1 thing they can taste (maybe). Do this several times along your walk. At the end take time to pray prayers of appreciation for our senses and all the magnificent things God has created.

Download the printable version of these activities.

Below are some fun printable activities to enjoy:

Summer Fun – Word Scramble (free resource) from

Summer Fun – Word Search (free resource) from

Note: Also on our website is UNDER THE SON Bible Study and UNDER THE SON devotional that coordinate with these games and activities.

July 2021 Inspire Newsletter

Ahh… it’s the lazy days of summer. There is just something about summer that makes us want to relax. Perhaps it is the heat that slows us down, or the change from the regular routine (especially if you have school-age children), or the longer days. Whatever the reason, July is a great time to “Just Be Relaxed.”

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.” Mark Black

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.” Sydney Harris

In this month’s newsletter are some easy and relaxing craft ideas perfect for the slower pace of summer, a Bible reading plan on the peace that God offers, and a devotion to remind us to “Just Be Relaxed in His Presence.” Also included are some INSPIRATIONAL Women’s Ministries ideas from around the Territory.

Surrender your anxiety. Be still and realize that I am God. I am God above all the nations, and I am exalted throughout the whole earth. Psalm 46:10 (Passion Translation)

Need previous issues of the INSPIRE Newsletter?  They can be found at the following links:  June 2021, May 2021, April 2021March 2021February 2021, January 2021 December 2020November 2020October 2020September 2020August 2020July 2020June 2020May 2020April 2020March 2020February 2020January 2020December 2019November 2019October 2019October 2018-September 2019

Book Review: “The Prodigal Prophet: Jonah and the Mystery of God’s Mercy”

By Major Katina Hanson
Eugene Citadel, OR – Cascade Division

We want God to give us the correct answers, or rather our own personal vision of acceptability. The man’s story is similar to many of us in both principle and essence. His intentional journey echoes his unwarranted temerity. In Timothy Keller’s book, The Prodigal Prophet, we read about the account of Jonah, his resistance to God permeates his storyline.

Jonah’s story is found in his Old Testament namesake book. The book of Jonah is only 4 chapters long, but its brevity does not minimize the powerful messages. Keller writes diligently about the prophet Jonah’s known history and complicated relationship with God. Jonah is told by God to preach to the city of Nineveh, a city with a cruel and violent reputation. Nineveh had operated as a terrorist like city, threatening all of their enemies in the ancient world. Jonah responds to God’s command by going the opposite way. God’s instruction seemed impossible for Jonah to accept.

This book discusses the strategies we sometimes use to avoid God, corresponding with Romans chapters 1 through 3. Keller alludes to comparing the prophet Jonah with the Prodigal Son and also expounds the literary correlation with Jesus. Keller took advantage of reviewing the book of Jonah with contemporary connections. Keller’s book explores identity, cultural bias and the tension that resides between.

I would recommend this book as Keller clearly outlines scripture principles with relevant commentary, intertwined with easily understood illustrations. There is always validity in reading scripture as it alters us through the mysterious power of God. The book of Jonah sheds light on the grace of God and shadows upon our demonization of others. The ending of the Old Testament book of Jonah is not resolved like others, it purposely ends with a question. Perhaps how we answer the question gives greater clarity to our own spiritual growth.

Book Review: “For Such A Time as This”

Book Review by Captain Claudia Pardo-Barriga
Divisional Youth & Candidates’ Secretary – California South Division

“Just as Esther was particularly equipped to have an impact on her own time and culture, so you have been prepared to affect this generation.” (Lisa Ryan, 2001)

I love a good read. More so when it is relatable and an easy read. Turning eighteen is such a big milestone in life for any young lady. The sensation of more independence feels very good and yet it carries a bigger responsibility with it. After one year as an eighteen-year-old, I had gone through some good decisions and some not so good ones. It was here when an Officer of The Salvation Army from Venezuela gifted me a book, For Such a time As This by Lisa Ryan (you can find this book in English and Spanish).

This book takes you through the life journey of Esther. The book will literally put you in her shoes. The vivid imagery and well written stories of Esther placed me in the middle of her victories and struggles. The book took me through a time where it was difficult for her to live by the teachings of God because her surroundings were constantly pointing her the other direction. The book couldn’t have come to me at a better time. I was an eighteen-year-old that was living with many struggles. All of which Esther had gone through. Struggles like self-esteem, peer pressure, self-worth, staying pure, sex, relationships, friendships, family dynamics, faith and life goals.

If you are a teenage girl, young adult women, mother, sister, aunt or even grandmother, I recommend you this book.

July Craft: Mod Podge Boxes

By Major Gaylene Yardley
Metro Phoenix Resource Officer – Southwest Division


Boxes of any shape or size
Modge Podge Matte
Old pictures
Spray gloss Modge Podge
Paint brushes


  • Paint your box with any color you like.
  • Cut out the pictures you plan to adhere to your box.
  • Using a clean paint brush, brush the Modge
  • Podge onto the box wherever you are going to adhere pictures.
  • Brush Modge Podge liberally onto the picture and adhere to the box.
  • When the photos are dry, spray entire box with the Modge Podge gloss and let dry.
  • Enjoy your box!

Download printable instructions of this craft

June Program: Essential Healing Oils

June 2021 Inspire Newsletter

Summer is right around the corner and it is a great time to break out of routines and try something new. For the month of June we are going to “Just Be Adventurous.”

To be adventurous is simply to explore unknown territory, to try something new. Hellen Keller said, “Life is either a great adventure or nothing.”

In this month’s newsletter are some ideas to help you become more adventurous, and a devotional reminder that we never adventure alone, This month’s Bible reading plan is 30 days of Scripture that shows how God directs, guides and leads us.

You go before me and follow me. you place your hand of blessing on my head. Psalm 139:5 NLT

Walking with Jesus is truly a great adventure!

Need previous issues of the INSPIRE Newsletter?  They can be found at the following links: May 2021, April 2021March 2021February 2021, January 2021 December 2020November 2020October 2020September 2020August 2020July 2020June 2020May 2020April 2020March 2020February 2020January 2020December 2019November 2019October 2019October 2018-September 2019

Book Review: “How To Pray”

Book Review by Major Charity Kramerius
Personnel Officer – College For Officer Training

I recently read the book How to pray, a simple guide for normal people, by Pete Grieg. It’s a quick read, or a short audio book read by the author himself, a person whose clear passion for prayer lead him to co-found and promote the 24-7 Prayer movement around the world.

Mr. Grieg uses the Lord’s Prayer to challenge ordinary believers at all points in their faith journey to pray simple, honest and powerful prayers. It’s not a formula book – how often to pray, where to pray, specific words that would honor God or sway God’s heart. The focus is placed on form – having a genuine heart for God and pursuing a loving and deepening relationship with Him through prayer

Before I even read the first word of Chapter One, I was captured. I like to think of myself as normal and appreciate things put simply. In the intro “How to Read This Book in a Couple of Minutes,” I was challenged to pause. “To start we must stop. To move forward we must pause. This is the first step in a deeper prayer life: Put down your wish list and wait. Sit quietly. ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’” (pg. xiv). From the beginning, Mr. Grieg shares from his own experience. “Merely by showing up, you make a declaration of intent…After decades of night-and-day prayer, I have come to believe that 99 percent of it is just showing up: making the effort to become consciously present to the God who is constantly present to us” (pg. 10).

As women Officers, many of us are pulled daily in two opposing directions…be the heart of the ministry while keeping the show on the road at a heart-stopping pace. Balance family and ministry. Pursue and protect a personal time with God as well as serve others sacrificially. Mr. Grieg brings things back to the basics with the encouragement to keep our relationship and communication with God “real,” as a way of practicing God’s presence and receiving His power. I recommend this book and encourage listening to the audio version. The book is also the basis of a 24-7 Prayer video teaching series, The Prayer Course, available free online with a Toolshed of supporting materials.

Book Review: “Grace for the Good Girl”

Book Review by Captain Ryan Boyd
Missoula, MT – Northwest Division

Grace for the Good Girl is a book by Emily P. Freeman. But it was the subtitle for this book, “letting go of the try hard life” that hooked me.

Freeman discusses how being “the good girl” can keep you from experiencing true freedom in Christ. Having been a good girl all my life, this idea both intrigued and scared me. But Freeman talks about letting go of our masks and being who we are – loved by a God who isn’t impressed by our status as a Good Girl.

There were so many parts of this book that I really resonated with, and my favorite thing was how I felt seen and understood – but also called out on my unconscious belief that I had to be “Good” for God to love me. If you find your identity as the “Good Girl” – the one who always follows the rules, the one who is dependable and can be counted on, the one who is letter of the law – then I would recommend that you read this book and help free yourself from the chains that you are creating so that you can live in the true freedom that Christ provides.

My favorite quote from this book is, “Ultimately the law will make you so miserable you’ll want to die. Then you will find that someone already died for you.” It’s time to stop finding our value and worth in being Good and to start finding it in the One who offers it freely.