Thursday, November 12, 2009

The best of both worlds…

It would be interesting to know if the name 'Brindley Boon' means anything to young Salvationists today – especially those outside the UK and Canadian Territories? (Brindley is pictured with his wife Nina)

In these days of contemporary worship songs, mentioning some of the songbook classics he penned still might not even raise a flicker of recognition: 'Spirit divine come as of old', 'For thy mission make me holy', 'Weaver divine, thy matchless skill', 'I would be thy holy temple,'.

In addition Brindley wrote many band pieces, a history of the ISB and two books on banding and singing 'Play the Music Play,' and 'Sing the Happy Song.' He was also the main organiser of the 1978 International Congress.

Colonel Brindley Boon was promoted to glory this year at the grand age of 95 and his autobiography has just been published 'The best of both worlds'.

The Amazon product description says of this book "In 'The Best of Both Worlds', Salvation Army officer Colonel Brindley Boon delves deep into memories covering nine decades to provide a record of an extraordinary life. His twin loves of music and journalism provide the framework for this fascinating autobiography. But, more than that, every experience he recollects seems to shine with his love for God and his desire to serve Him."

In the book, especially the earlier part, Brindley describes a Salvation Army I can only imagine yet one I would have loved to belong to!

Certainly it was an Army obsessed with music yet at the same time it was equally obsessed with soul winning. It wasn't music or evangelism it was both and evangelism always took precedence.

Reading the book was a cathartic experience for me and I feel refreshed and better able to focus on what really matters as a consequence of Brindley's memoirs.

My Dad was appointed to the Editorial Department on IHQ in 1963 at which time 'Uncle' Brindley was already an established and stalwart Army journalist.

Reading the book showed me just how much we have lost our way as a movement and the quicker we can get back to basics the better.

Deportment matters, professionalism matters, discipline matters, regulations matter, uniform matters, respect for leaders matters – all these things matter. They are not all that matters or even the most important things but we diminish their value at great cost to ourselves.

In those territories that are growing the above qualities are still valued and very visible.

Maybe they should put Brindley's book on the curriculum at Western Training Colleges J

Grace and peace, A