Monday, December 31, 2007

Your Invitation

We are excited to announce the upcoming Dedication/Grand Opening of our office space at 7:00 PM, January 24th at Church of Our Lord, 626 Blanshard St, Victoria, BC. Our keynote speaker for the evening will be Rob Parker from the National House of Prayer. In addition to an exciting evening worship, we will also be sharing some ministry highlights from 2007 as well as our vision for 2008. We will conclude with a time of fellowship in the Community Ministry Centre.

Please come and join us for this very historic event. You can reserve online by clicking here.

Filling The Earth

I've mentioned before that we live within a few blocks of the ocean. We've been through a series of significant storms over the past few weeks which has provided some spectacular waves. While it's always fun to watch the waves, I particularly like to watch the waves come in as the tide is rising. There are always large pieces of driftwood that are impossible to move at low tide because of their mass. However, as the tide rises and the waves roll in, those large logs begin to float and are moved to wherever the waves toss them next. What seemed impossible a few hours earlier is now entirely feasibile just because the tide has risen.

I continue to ponder the wonder of these familiar words from Habakkuk 2:14. "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. " While I am confident that God has been at work in the past, I am approaching 2008 with a fresh expectation that God's heart for our province and nation in 2008 is to accelerate the process of filling the earth with the knowledge of his glory, love, wisdom and presence. Perhaps I feel this way because I see His Spirit at work in the lives of the leaders of our land, or perhaps it is because I see and sense a rising tide of the presence and working of God across our nation.

Perhaps this will be the year that He will have Dominion from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Raising the Standard

Canadians for Moral Clarity and the Canadian Prayer Network are inviting local churches across Canada on January 6 & 7 to a National Prayer Initiative:

“Raising the Standard”

The purpose of the National Initiative, “Raising the Standard” is to pray for the raising up of righteous leadership in our government according to Daniel 2:21,22.

Background to “Raising the Standard” Prayer Initiative:
In November 2004 at an Impact Cities-Influence Nations Conference in Montreal, Dr. Cindy Jacobs called national leaders to pray for our government according to Isaiah 22:22 and Daniel 2:21,22. The following day of the conference, after praying that God would expose the “hidden works of darkness”, a leader was removed from the Prime Minister’s cabinet and the following year the scandal in Quebec was brought to light.

In January 2006 before the last national election, 60 different locations from Halifax to Vancouver Island were united to pray for “righteous government”. Believers gathered in local churches and inter-church prayer rallies across the nation from sea to sea. During this intensified 24-hour prayer initiative the polls suddenly changed in Quebec. Weeks after, the elections brought in a minority government. Today on Parliament Hill we believe there are more righteous leaders in government positions because God answered our prayer.

Will you join “Raising the Standard” National Prayer Initiative Sunday, January 6 by including special prayer in your services for the raising up of righteous leaders in our land?

Please understand this is not a prayer initiative to support partisan politics, but to see God raise up a righteous government. Your participation in this prayer initiative is greatly needed to help shape the future of Canada!

If you are able to participate please respond by email to cpn@cpncanada.ca

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Praying Together

As many of you know, our vision includes the goal of building an army of intercessors who will pray for an MLA on a daily basis. Through the use of our online prayer calendar or a downloaded hard copy of our monthly prayer calendar, we continue to work towards the goal of 10,000 Christians praying for a different MLA every day of the year.

One MLA shared with me that he knows the days that people pray for him because of the way his day goes. That’s just the beginning of the tangible results of touching heaven for those who govern over us. Imagine what will happen when we achieve our goal of 10,000 people!

For those of you in the Victoria area, we will be hosting a bi-weekly prayer meeting at our office starting in January. (We’ll have more information on dates and times early in the new year on our website and in our monthly newsletter.)

For those of you that can’t get to a meeting in Victoria, we are also launching a Conference Call Prayer Meeting that will take place over the telephone. The call is free and your participation is welcomed and encouraged. We are excited about the possibilities that this presents to our many partners outside of Victoria and look forward to the praying together with you in the new year.

2007 - A Year of Surprises

What a difference a year makes! A year ago we were in Kamloops thinking about Victoria. Today we are in Victoria remembering Kamloops. The last 12 months have been marked with change, divine surprises and miracles. Here’s what I mean…. (The links take you to specific posts about the event. Click anyone that you'd like.)

When I arrived at the Legislature on Feb 13 for the Speech from the Throne, I had no idea that the Lord had established a divine appointment to open the Session in prayer.

When the vision of a Prayer Breakfast for MLA’s came to mind, it was more of ‘I wonder if…” . When 9 MLA’s and 35 pastors joined us for the morning, we knew God was up to something.

When we were asked to pray regarding the threat of an impending flood in the Fraser Valley, we only knew that God was able. We saw the projected flood water stay within its banks as we prayed it would.


When I needed office space, the Lord led us to the perfect spot in all of Victoria. It is a five minute walk from the Legislature, and is located in the oldest church in Victoria. There isn’t a better spot in the entire city.

When we were invited to lead a prayer chapel service for MLA’s who are facing health challenges, we had no idea what to expect, but God did. 30 people met together to pray for their peers and colleagues. It was a moving and inspiring morning.

When the idea of providing ‘Amazing Grace’ DVD’s as a Christmas Gift to every MLA in BC was presented, we took the step of faith and within a few weeks had more than enough to completely cover the cost of purchase and distribution.

When it was time to buy a house, the Lord directed us to a home with plenty of room, a yard and near good schools for our children. That's 7 MIRACLES this year.

In this season of Celebration, we are reminded that ‘every good and perfect gift’ comes from our Father in heaven. I am deeply grateful for the surprises of this past year. I am even more grateful for the perfect gift of His Son. Apart from Him we can do nothing. Glory to God in the highest.

Have a wonderful Christmas.


Saturday, December 08, 2007

Finding the Key

Almost a year before we moved here, we were given a promise that the Lord already had the key for a house for us in Victoria. The challenge for us was to find the key. We looked everywhere. What we found was either overpriced, too small, wrong neighborhood or needing more work than what we could handle.

And then... we found an open house that looked interesting. It wasn't what we would have normally considered, but the layout, space, yard, location and neighborhood were perfect for us. So, we put in an offer that was accepted, have arranged our financing and are looking forward to living in our own place again. It has 4 bedrooms a family room/den, a private teaching area for Barb. (I may never hear another piano lesson again...) It has room for a garage, a fenced yard, sunny patio, 2 4 piece baths, STORAGE, attic access with those cool drop down stairs. (Zack says he wants to have 'his space' up there.) It will certainly add to the 'hide and seek' options...


Here are some pictures for you.

From the street
The view from front door looking out toward the yard

The Kitchen

(the yellow paint is going and will be replaced with something warmer)


The Living Room and Dining Room. The DR is where the fireplace is. The patio doors open up onto several large decks.


We are so excited about what the Lord has done for us and look forward to taking possession and making it our our home in the new year. The house is near the church where I was formerly on staff. We have many friends there and look forward to being able to be more involved now that there is some permanence about our where we will be living. An added bonus is that Tyler will have the option of attending a brand new school (with sports teams...) that is about 3 blocks from our house. Zack and Britt will finish the year where they are. Because of the way High School is structured, Brittany will be the only person in our family to start High School 3 times!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

We Made It!

I'm thrilled to report that based on donations in hand and a few 'the cheque is in the mail' promises, we have been able to purchase the Amazing Grace DVD's. I ordered them yesterday and should have them by Friday. We will distribute them next week.

The owner of the Christian Book store here just grinned at me when I walked in the door yesterday to place the order. He's been a real help to us and I'm very appreciative.

On another note, I was in Kamloops for the weekend and just want to acknowledge Pastor Darrell Helquist and Full Gospel Tabernacle. In addition to allowing me to preach, the church was very generous towards the ministry. I was blessed to be there.

This week, I'm at Victoria Chinese Pentecostal Church. I'm really looking forward to it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Sounds of Sunday

As I was walking home from church on Sunday afternoon, I couldn't help but enjoy the sounds that I was hearing. The sunshine was the icing on the cake and just added to the entire experience.

I preached at Church of Our Lord yesterday. This is the church where my office is located so it was kind of like preaching at home, even though we've never been there on a Sunday before. Their early service is contemporary and has a coffee house feel to it. The band (The World's Most Dangerous Worship Band) was fantastic and I really enjoyed worshiping with them. Their second service is very liturgical and formal, complete with pipe organ and choir. I've never been a part of a service like that, but I found it rich and satisfying. The sound of an actual pipe organ, combined with the beauty of the stained glass and the majestic singing was very inspiring and pointed me towards heaven. I preached in an elevated pulpit which was also something new for me. It was certainly different than my usual roaming and chatting style, but it was amazing to preach from a pulpit that was 130 years old. I actually sat in 'The Douglas Pew' that was donated and used by Sir James Douglas until his death. James Douglas was the first Governor of the colony of Vancouver Island.

As I walked home, I heard the Carillon begin to play. I didn't recognize the melody, but it was beautiful. As the song finished, a bagpiper began to play the refrain of Amazing Grace. As I rounded the corner of the Legislature, the bagpipes faded from hearing and I overheard a couple discussing whether or not you had to pay for parking. The gentleman was telling the woman that 'It's the Lord's Day and they don't make you pay on the Lord's day.' I'm not sure when I last heard someone say 'The Lord's Day', but I gave thanks that you don't have to pay to park on His day.

After lunch we watched the Grey Cup. The room was full of sound. Mostly cheers and groans as we cheered the Roughriders on to victory. (I realize I should be a Lions fan, but forsaking the Riders would just be wrong. For the record, I am a long suffering fan and I do want emphasize suffering, even though they won it all this year!)

I preached last night at the Victoria Miracle Centre. I had a great time and was reminded that you can't limit God to a particular model of ministry. He was there, live and in person! And it was very good.

The sounds of Sunday were rich and rewarding. I'm glad I heard them and was able to enjoy it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

DVD Project Update

Hi Everyone - We are making great progress on our DVD project. We need $2000 to make it happen and we currently have $900 in hand with approximately $500 pledged for early next week. This is amazing to me, but also speaks volumes about your belief in what we are doing. If you are wondering what's going on, see the comments from my last post.

We need to see the balance for the project come in ASAP so that we can place our order and distribute the DVD's without the additional cost of mailing them. If you'd like to be a participate, a DVD costs approximately $25. You can give by going to http://www.leadinginfluence.com/Donate.html

Thanks again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chapel Report

"To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all you are able to ask or think or imagine..."

I would not have dared to imagine that God would have done something as big and amazing as what He did this morning. At 9:00 AM 30 MLA's and support staff gathered to pray for their peers who are sick and facing enormous medical challenges. One important committee recessed so that the members could participate in this very important time.

I chose to focus on the theme of God's grace for the morning. While we often think of God's grace as being available to help us in our time of need, His grace is also given to empower us to fulfill what He has put in our hearts to do.

I wasn't sure what to expect when we provided an opportunity for people to pray publicly for their peers. It was silent for a moment and then they began to pray. It was exciting to listen to them. One huge lesson is that in spite of political differences, these people really care about each other.

While it's often said, we literally felt the prayers of hundreds of people across the country. Men's, women's, student and special prayer groups lifted us before our Father in Heaven and the result was tangible. I'm told that the conference call was exciting as people prayed collectively and used technology in a very exciting way.

This has been an exhilarting experience and only the beginning of what God has in store for our province and our nation. Thanks for praying and standing with us.


There was a genuine sense of God's presence with us today and we felt the prayers of people across the country. I'll write something more later, but I wanted to get this out to you ASAP.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Labor Day in November!

There's a great prairie tradition. It's called the Labor Day Classic and if you've ever lived in Saskatchewan, you'll know what I'm talking about. The LDC happens on the Sunday of the Labor Day weekend when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The game is always sold out and is the biggest game of the year in SK. Until this year... because in 2007, Labor Day comes in November in Toronto!

I love the idea that Winnipeg and Saskatchewan are in the Grey Cup. I doubt that it's ever happened before but it will feature one of the best rivalries in the league. It might not be so good for the CFL in terms of a TV audience, but I'm guessing that hundreds of farmers sold a steer or a truckload of something today and started driving east for the big game. It's entirely possible that Saskatchewan's 5th largest city will be at the SkyDome this weekend.

I realize that there are probably more important things to write about today but... THE RIDERS ARE GOING TO THE GREY CUP!! This means nothing to most people in BC or other places, especially since the Lions aren't going, but let me put this in context for you.

Through an act of kindness about 30 years ago a cousin took me to my first CFL football game. It was at Taylor Field in Regina. I saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders play the Calgary Stampeders. Something happened to me that day. I became (for better or worse) a Rider fan. This has been a long and tearfilled journey. Like most fans, I hoped, believed and was then disappointed. My father in law said that Rider football and farming have a lot in common, they both leave you wanting something more. I'd have to agree.

Yesterday, we did something that I always thought would be fun. We went to the CFL Western Final and as it would happen, Saskatchewan was playing BC. Zack and Tyler (our sons) came along with us. They are Lions fans (being born in BC and all...) I went to the game hoping but fearful. Once I got inside I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it, regardless of what happened. My decision was quickly rewarded after an early touchdown by Saskatchewan and a sputtering BC offence that couldn't get it going. I was nearly delerious at half time with the Riders still in the lead. Barb and I were smiling and high fiving. The boys were... patient but still holding on to the dream of a Lions win.

As the clock started to wind down in the 4th quarter it was pretty clear that there would be no miracle in BC Place for the Lions. While about 40,000 fans left early, we celebrated a SK win! What's most remarkable is that Tyler somehow became an SK fan (bandwagon only I'm sure...)

Zack says he'll be cheering for Winnipeg. I'm not sure why anyone would cheer for Winnipeg...



Wednesday, November 14, 2007

When God's People Pray

Twelve people from across Victoria met at our office space to pray for the ministry and the upcoming Chapel service at the Legislature. While we know there are many people who pray for us across the province (and across the country), it was exciting to spend a morning with some who have prayed for me and what God has called us to do for a long time. If this group is any indication, we have an awesome team of people who know how to reach heaven.

There's something fascinating that happens when you align yourself with God's heart and Word. Simpy put, heaven comes down. I've been blessed to be in some great prayer meetings, but this was simply amazing. It was tremendously humbling to hear them pray for Barb and I as we serve God in this very unique area of ministry. It was absolutely thrilling to hear them pray for our MLA's and to know that God was hearing and responding. We prayed for wisdom. We prayed for miracles. We prayed for God's blessing on their lives, just like the bible says we should.

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, and for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." 1 Tim 2:1,2 NKJV

When we prayed for the chapel service, we prayed for something more than just a feel good service. We want people to feel good, but we really want them to experience God at work in their lives because they were there.

I can't wait to see how this will turn out, and I can't wait to tell you...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What do you do when it doesn't rain

Rain, or at least the lack of it won't be a problem here in Victoria over the next few days, but that's a lot different Atlanta. This is from the Yahoo News site.

What to do when the rain won't come? If you're Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, you pray.
The governor will host a prayer service next week to ask for relief from the drought gripping the Southeast.
"The only solution is rain, and the only place we get that is from a higher power," Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley said on Wednesday. Perdue's office has sent out invitations to leaders from several faiths for the service, set for Tuesday.


Perdue has several times mentioned the need for prayer — along with water conservation — as the state's drought crisis has worsened. Over the summer, he participated in day of prayer for agriculture at a gathering of the Georgia Farm Bureau in Macon, Ga.

Perdue, a Baptist, has enjoyed strong support from Georgia's Christian conservatives.
The Southeast has been suffering from an intense drought in recent months that has threatened supplies of drinking water. Georgia has been locked in a battle with Alabama and Florida over how much water should be sent downstream from the state's dwindling reservoirs.
Governors from the three states reached a temporary agreement after meeting with Bush administration officials in Washington.

The prayer service will be held outside the state Capitol on Tuesday. Unless, of course, it rains.
"Then we'll move it inside, thankfully," Brantley said.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another one of THOSE days...

Monday was a fantastic day! Barb and I were hosting the ID School of Ministry class from Bible Truth Church in Kamloops and I spent the morning sharing and teaching a course for them. After lunch we went to the Legislature for Question Period. While there, I made contact (via waving and hand signals) with an MLA. (He was doing the waving, I was just nodding as I grasped what he was saying.)


After the session we went to his office where he told me that he had some work for me. There are currently 4 MLA's encountering significant health challenges and he felt that a prayer meeting would be in order. As a result we scheduled a chapel service to meet together with his colleagues to pray for their peers.

As you might appreciate, I am thrilled about this development as it is what I have been waiting for. Although I am concerned for the MLA's who are encountering sickness and health challenges, I am convinced that God wants to do something spectacular for them as well as for those who care about them. The next few days will be busy making arrangements and plans for that time together.

I'll be sending specifics as to how you can participate via our email list. If you would like to be a part of that group, please use the link to the right to be added to our list.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Pittance of Time


In honor of Remembrance Day. Buy a poppy, go to a service, thank a vet (an elderly one appreciates it the most...) take a minute and watch the video


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYlrrAWCTRg

Friday, November 02, 2007

Prayer Bulletin

Victoria, BC - November 2, 2007 - From the Vancouver Province

Sindi Hawkins, deputy speaker of the B.C. legislature and Kelowna-Mission MLA, is again battling acute myeloid leukemia. In a brief statement yesterday, Premier Gordon Campbell said Hawkins was admitted to hospital for treatment this week. "Sindi will be on medical leave for the duration of the treatment required, which includes chemotherapy and a subsequent bone-marrow transplant," Campbell said.
Hawkins, 48, was first diagnosed with leukemia in January 2004, and received a life-saving bone-marrow transplant from her younger sister, Seema, a few months later.

She wrote a diary in The Province during her ordeal. Her cancer has been in remission for the past three years. "She has told me she feels fortunate that her sister, Seema, is a perfect match and will be her bone-marrow donor once more," Campbell said. Campbell said Hawkins told him: "I am ready and strong. I fought this thing before and won and I know I can do it again. My medical team and the B.C. Cancer Agency is one of the best in the world and I am confident that I am in good hands. Please keep me in your prayers." Hawkins is requesting privacy, but will try to write weekly updates on her website, www.sindi.ca. "Sindi, and patients like her, require a lot of blood products over the course of their blood-cancer treatments," Campbell said. "She has requested that you consider becoming a blood donor." In 2005, Canadian Blood Services honoured Hawkins for her work in support of blood and marrow donation in B.C.
ABOUT THE DISEASE
Acute myeloid leukemia is a potentially fatal cancer that mostly starts in the bone marrow, where new blood cells are made. It can spread to the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain and spinal cord. The drop in blood cells can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding, and increased risk of infection. It is treated with chemotherapy and bone-marrow transplants.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Shaping the Tides

Last week, I saw a full moon over Vancouver. I was there for a conference and was staying on the 15th floor which only added to the quality of the view. It reminded me of something I read this summer.


As you know the moon simply reflects the light of the sun. A full moon occurs when it is in proper alignment with the sun. What I didn’t know was that the moon being in full alignment with the sun has a significant effect of life here on earth. Apparently there are more babies that are conceived and delivered during a full moon than at any other time of the month. I also learned that the tidal pull of the moon is greatest during a full moon because of the combined gravitational force of both the sun and the moon.


The writer made an interesting connection between the moon’s ability to shape the tides based on it’s alignment with the sun and the role that we can have in the earth today as we align ourselves with the plans and purposes of God. The bible tells us that we are kings and priests. Kings and priests have the authority and ability to shape the culture around them by virtue of their position and calling.

While this might seem ‘heady’ and overwhelming, the reality is that our ability to sway the tides around us is directly connected to how closely we are aligned to our Father in heaven.
Jesus underlined the importance of staying intimately connected to His heart, mind and presence on a daily basis when He said that said that apart from Him, we can do nothing. At the same time, He told us that when we were connected to Him, we were in a place where anything could happen.

The social tides that sweep over our culture can be shaped and tamed, but only as we humbly come into alignment with the heart and purposes of God for our lives and for the world around us and then simply let the gravity of his love, joy and presence reach the world we live in.

Pivotal Praying

Britain's William Wilberforce, at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries, prayed pivotally to make a difference in the lives of slaves and slave owners. He prayed and worked for 20 long years and eventually made a difference that shaped the culture of the western world.


When we pray to make a difference in the world, we are recognizing that something is already wrong. Somewhere there's an injustice. Somewhere there's a person who needs help with an addiction. or an abusive relationship. Somewhere there's oppression, a wrong that has to be made right.


I remain captivated by what could happen as 10,000 people come together with one heart to touch heaven on behalf of a single MLA on an ongoing basis. I'm convinced that bringing our petitions for our leaders and nation is the most powerful option available to us as the people of God. Click here to get the latest copy of our monthly prayer calendar.

Thanks for praying with us! Together we can do it!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

God's Fingerprints Found in Canadian History

I'm attending the National Foursquare Convention in Surrey, BC this week. Barry Buzza (their president) shared these thoughts in his message last night.

Canada has been raised up by God with Destiny in mind.
1. The Viking, Lief Ericsson came from Norway in 1003 and wintered in Newfoundland in 1004 A.D. Ericsson was the first known white man to present the gospel of Jesus Christ to Canada's native peoples. An Inuit carving, found on Baffin Island, depicts a Norseman bearing a Christian cross, giving silent testimony to this man's influence 1000 years ago.

John Cabot landed on Newfoundland shores in 1497, claiming the land for God and country.

In 1533 Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal. To commemorate the founding of Montreal, Cartier wrote in his diary ... "We all kneeled down in the company of the Indians and with our hands raised toward heaven yielded our thanks to God."

Samuel de Champlain wrote in his diary, "I thereupon concluded in my private judgement that I should be committing a great sin if I did not make my business to devise some means of bringing them to the knowledge of God."

Commanded by a vision, Marie Guyart - better known as Marie de L'Incarnation - arrived in 1639 in what would become Quebec City. By 1642, Marie, and Ursuline nun, had established the first school and built a convent in New France. In yet another dream, God took her to a vast country full of mountains, valleys, and heavy fogs. "It was Canada that I showed you", and, "you must go there to build a house for Jesus"... Marie interpreted the dream to mean that she must go to New France to evangelize the natives and to build a convent and a school.

In 1679 Count Frontenac, a devout Huguenot (French Protestant), and one of the Governors of Canada, declared to the First Assembly, "As for me, I shall esteem myself happy in consecrating all my efforts, and if need by, my life itself, to extending the Empire of Jesus Christ throughout all this land."

In 1784, David Thompson, the great map maker, began his work in Canada's West. What motivated this man to endure such hardship? A vision! He wanted to reach the Native people of the West with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He always carried his bible with him and read it out loud at every opportunity, to voyageurs and to Indians.

Egerton Ryerson believed that his primary task was "to make men Christians - Christian in heart and life, in temper and work." He was the "Father of public education" in Canada, and wanted a common patriotic ground in the education system of comprehensiveness and avowed Christian principles.

Sir Leonard Tilley, (Father of Confederation, 1867), when reading verse 8 of Ps. 72, "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, "the thought occurred to him, what a splendid name to give Canada.

In a 1980 Parlaiment session, by the National Anthem Act added the prayer "God, keep our Land, glorious and free" to the verses written by R. Stanley Weir. The third verse of O Canada contained another prayer...


Ruler Supreme, Who hearest humble prayer,
hold our dominion in Thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God in Thee, a lasting rich reward,
as waiting for a better day, we ever stand on guard.
O Canada, glorious and free,
O Canada, We stand on guard for thee.
2. Our place among the nations is unique.
Canada is seen by the world as a place of freedom and peace; where al nations can live free from conflict; in civil order and harmony, and yet retain their own cultures and traditions.
3. Our destiny rests upon the obedience of the Church in Canada. We must understand our gifts, destiny and call, as a bridge to the nations of the world.

Devout Loiterer

My regular attendance at the Legislature is starting to attract the attention of the staff. At this point, I'm generally greeted with 'back again?' or 'You must be a glutton for punnishment'. I've even been getting a few lingering looks from the security staff who I'm sure have figured out that I'm not just a part of another tour group.

A few years ago, MacLean's magazine referred to the 'devout loiterers' on Parlaiment Hill who were actually staff members from the
National House of Prayer who were there to pray for MP's.

At this point, I'm spending a lot of time doing the same thing. Apart from Question Period, most of the business at the Legislature, while very important, is a bit like watching paint dry. (It's a good thing I've learned to pray with my eyes open or I might be mistaken for some of the people who catch 40 winks in the public gallery from time to time.)


When I visited Fort St. John this past winter, someone shared something with me that I have spent a lot of time reflecting on over the past week. While he celebrated the open doors that we had experienced, his encouragement was to watch for the hidden doors that would open in the walls.

While I enjoy favor with many people, there are places where there are walls that stand in the way of building bridges to even more people. It's here that I am looking for God to make a way where there seems to be no way. Would you pray with me until we see it happen? Email me at tim@leadinginfluence.com and let me know you're praying with me.

Thanks!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Whoosh....

That would be the sound of time flying. The past two weeks have been a blur of travel, track meets, choir concerts, soccer games, mornings and afternoons at the Legislature, meetings and .... well, I'm actually too tired to remember at the moment.

Here are some highlights:
1. Zack is playing soccer on the school team. He's having a great time making new friends. His team is doing very well with 3 wins, 1 loss and 1 tie. The tie was nearly a win yesterday as they lost on the last play of the game. It was a beautiful goal in the top right hand corner. The ball actually hit the cross bar and bounced straight down and into the goal.

2. Tyler is on the cross country team at his school. Most races are about 1.2 to 1.4 kms. He's done remarkably well placing anywhere between 2nd and 6th. He placed 3rd in the city final on Monday at Beacon Hill Park. We celebrated with ice cream!

3. Brittany had her first choir concert last week. She did very well and the choir sounds great. I've heard something about a choir trip to Italy, France or somewhere expensive for next year. I hope she does it. It will be a great experience for her. She's enjoying her first job and continues to be affirmed by her employer.

4. Barb celebrated her birthday yesterday. She turned 26 .... again.... Her parents are visiting for the week and it's nice to have them here, especially for Barb's birthday.

5. My carpet is here and in the office. Pictures will follow as soon as I can have Brittany come and take some better ones. I am in Vancouver for a few days. I'm attending a conference for a few days and speaking at a lunch meeting on Thursday as well. I'm excited about the conference and will write about it tomorrow.

Till then...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kind of Neat

Someone posted this on my facebook site. It's a link to a you tube video. If you don't have high speed, this may take a while. I'm planning another post later this week. I think my carpet is finally ready in which case I can show you pictures!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CT7x3VnrqbA

Enjoy the video.

Monday, October 15, 2007

And so it begins...

The BC Legislature resumes today after a summer recess. Today will be an historic day as a First Nations Chief will address the House on the occasion of her band signing a land settlement agreement. I'm looking forward to hearing her. I'm also looking forward to reconnecting with MLA's and to being a source of hope, encouragement and blessing to them.

It's been a busy few weeks and things will only become more hectic now that the House is in session, but I've been praying and waiting for this day for a long time. Many of you have shared in the praying and waiting and today our faith becomes sight. There many more steps on the way as we move forward towards fulfilling this call, but I'm learning to savour the moments as God gives them and move forward as He leads. (It's much easier than constantly running into walls...)

Barb and I are ministering at a banquet function tonight. I'm excited about sharing the story of how God brought us into a new role and field of ministry. It will also be good to share the evening with her. Please pray for us. I'll post an update in a few days.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Reconstruction

When I walk out the door of my office, I can see at least 4 construction cranes. It's pretty amazing when they are lifting heavy containers of concrete. There are times when the container is above the street as cars and people walk by. Yesterday, the crane directly behind the office was being dismantled as it was no longer needed at that site. In order to bring it down a larger mobile crane was brought in. The boom was so big that it was brought in on two separate flatbed trailers. The street was blocked off and because of the associated danger involved with moving the equipment, access was limited to those who lived or worked in the area. As the pieces came down, they were placed on the street and I expected that they would be gone in the morning.

I arrived at the office early this morning and to my surprise, the crane pieces were still on the street only about 100 yds from where they were yesterday. The large crane that took everything down yesterday was busy hoisting the old crane into place on the building directly behind the one it had worked at the day before.

As I walked to the car God spoke to me about the crane. He pointed out that at the end of the day yesterday, I had assumed the crane was done and gone, but in reality it had just been moved to a new location, perhaps to build an even bigger building. It's purpose was still valid and there was still work for it to do. He also pointed out that before you can go higher, there are times that you have to be taken down so that you can be moved into a new place, to fulfill a new purpose and continue to be a part of what He is doing.

This week marks 2 years since I resigned at Gateway City Church in Kamloops. It was the right thing to do and it was the right time to move towards what we are doing today. The last two years have been full of great lessons, recovery, healing and reconstruction. In just over 10 days, I will fully step into the new role and ministry that God has prepared for me to do in advance. These past two years have been precious as the Lord has reconstructed so many things in our lives to prepare us for this step.

We have learned about His faithfulness to us and how He always makes a way. We've learned that God is not cheap and nor should we be. He blesses open hands as much as he blesses open hearts. We've learned that little is much when God is in it and not to despise the day of small beginnings. We've learned about friendship, love and great neighbours that we've had to leave behind. We've also learned that there are new friendships that quickly become as precious as those we've known in the past and that in the end we have not lost friends so much as we are adding new ones.

Finally, we've learned that deconstructing is a part of constructing is into something new and wonderful. Deconstruction ensures that while we might have become set in our ways, thinking and practices, we are not abandoned to our 'rut'. God cares about us too much to place us on a shelf and leave us there until Jesus comes. He'd rather have us 'in the game' because it's better for us and because He's got a job for us that needs to be done.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

An Everlasting Covenant

I'm reading (ever so slowly) through the life of David in my devotions. As I read through the closing chapters of 2 Samuel today, I saw something that really spoke to me. David was undoubtedly a man after God's heart, but he was prone to some fairly significant lapses in terms of godliness and judgement. He paid a tremendous personal price for those blunders as did the people he led. At the same time, David continued to seek the Lord from the depths of his soul, regardless of what he was experiencing.

The words of 2 Sam 23:5 leaped off the page this morning. "He has made with me an everlasting covenant, Ordered in all things and secure. For this is all my salvation and all my desire; Will He not make it increase?"

Our covenant with God is everlasting. It does not have a best before date on it and it is always redeemable if our hearts are turned towards Him. It is also ordered. The covenant is created by God. Every detail is cared for and addressed. Nothing that affects me will slip through the cracks of this amazing covenant. God sees to it that we are cared for and protected in every way. Suddenly, Ps. 46:2 "Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the sea..." is more meaningful than ever before. There is nothing to fear, because He has provided for it all.

Finally, the covenant is secure. Nothing can change, alter or affect what is established in the covenant. Heaven and earth may pass away and the mountains that I can see when I walk our dog may fall into the ocean they rise from, but NOTHING in the covenant can or will change.

On Christ the SOLID ROCK I stand....

Friday, September 28, 2007

Our New Office


I’m excited to announce that we’ve been blessed with fantastic office space in a perfect location. The office is within 2 blocks of the Legislature and is located in the Community Ministries Centre of Church of Our Lord. (The CMC is on the left hand side of the church.)
Church of Our Lord is the oldest church in all of Victoria and is a familiar landmark in the downtown core. It’s within a few blocks of the Legislature which is fantastic. It truly goes beyond what we had dared to hope, ask or imagine.
There are some pictures in an earlier post of the painting and construction, but here are some with the furniture in place. I just got a call that our carpet will arrive early next week!

This is a view from the door area. There's a park outside the window with some beautiful old trees in it. The office is on the second floor which gives a great view of the squirrels in the tree.

This is the view from behind the desk of the conversation and meeting area. I apologize for the poor lighting, but I took this with a camera phone. The burgundy chairs will be replaced by leather club chairs sometime over the next few weeks. Once the carpet is in, we'll load up the bookshelves and get rid of the boxes.

While our mailing address will remain the same, the office itself is located at 626 Blanshard St., Victoria, BC. Our new phone number is 250-483-5403. If you happen to be in Victoria, please stop by and visit.

We've been blessed with some tremdous deals through this process, and have had an excellent response to helping with our office set up expenses. We still need approx $1500 to finish the project. If you’d like to be a part of help with the costs of setting up our office, please click here to to share in the miracle with us.

Carrying The Presence

I’ve been thinking about the priests in the Old Testament who carried the Ark of the Covenant in the book of Joshua. They had the privilege and responsibility of carrying the tangible presence and power of God in their nation. As a result they had a front row seat to demonstrations of God’s power to save, protect, deliver and restore. They saw the Jordan River stop flowing the moment they stepped into the water. Carrying the Ark around Jericho might have been hard work in the heat of the Middle East, but what a sight to see the walls collapse as the trumpets blew and the people shouted.

I’m convinced that the Presence of God is too important to be limited to Sunday morning gatherings and brief moments that we set aside through our day. It’s got to be about more than just us, our inner peace and comfort and joy that comes from that. Deep down, I’ve come to believe that God’s plan for His people is to carry His Presence into the market place and the public square and to share the full benefit of His Presence with those we meet there rather than simply keeping it to ourselves.


This is far less complicated than what we’ve made it in the past. The priests did nothing more than carry the Ark. While they lived lives of holiness and separation, they weren’t overly mystical, flaky or hyper-spiritual. They were simply priests who carried the Presence.

Something good happens when the Presence of God comes into a place. His Presence brings His blessing. His Presence brings His power. His Presence brings wisdom, hope, courage and strength. His Presence changes everything it touches.

It's your world. Carry His Presence into it and watch what happens!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Communion on the Moon

I just got back from a quick trip to the beach on the way home from picking up some groceries. The moon is full, the sky is clear and the result is spectacular. I heard an interesting news story that came out today about the first act of worship on the moon. You can read more about it below.

Communion on the Moon - Buzz Aldrin
by Bill Carrell

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first men to walk on the moon in the Apollo 11 space mission. Michael Collins third member of the group, was in charge of the command module, essential for their return to earth, which circled the moon while Armstrong and Aldrin landed. The moon lander touched down at 3:17 Eastern Standard Time, Sunday, July 20, 1969.
Aldrin had brought with him a tiny communion kit, given him by his church, that had a silver chalice and wine vial about the size of the tip of his finger. During the morning he radioed, "Houston, this is Eagle. This is the LM pilot speaking. I would like to request a few moments of silence. I would like to invite each person listening in, whoever or wherever he may be, to contemplate for a moment the events of the last few hours, and to give thanks in his own individual way."
"In the radio blackout," he wrote later, "I opened the little plastic packages which contained the bread and the wine. I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon, the wine slowly curled and gracefully came up the side of the cup. Then I read the Scripture, 'I am the vine, you are the branches. Whosoever abides in me will bring forth much fruit.' I had intended to read my communion passage back to earth, but at the last minute Deke Slayton had requested that I not do this. NASA was already embroiled in a legal battle with Madelyn Murray O'Hare, the celebrated opponent of religion, over the Apollo 8 crew reading from Genesis while orbiting the moon at Christmas. I agreed reluctantly..." "Eagle's metal body creaked. I ate the tiny Host and swallowed the wine. I gave thanks for the intelligence and spirit that had brought two young pilots to the Sea of Tranquility. It was interesting for me to think: the very first liquid ever poured on the moon, and the very first food eaten there, were the communion elements."
Genesis tells us that 'in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth'. How incredible is it that the first thing that man did when he arrived there was to worship and partake in communion? Simply amazing don't you think?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Office Update number ??

After what seems like forever, I have some pictures of our new space to show you. Since these were taken, we've acquired some furniture, but I'll hold off on showing you the finished product until the carpet is in and our new chairs are in place.




This was the first day we painted. Notice the short extension on the roller. I got a great deal on the package only to discover that the roller only fit that 18" extension.... sigh....



And this is why I opted to get a roller cage that could be used with a proper extension pole. I call this picture "Reach Higher"

Here's Barb sweeping up after we done. You can see the painted walls behind her. Don't you think she's the most beautiful member of a clean up crew you've ever seen.... and can she ever sweep a room clean!


This is the view out the window of the office. It faces south and overlooks a small park. You can hear the squirrels and birds when the window is open and the sun is shining, but only if there isn't a bus, ambulance or fire truck going by.

Here's the view from beside the window looking towards the door. It gives you a better sense of the color and the size of the room. We've still got some trim to paint up on the window and door, but apart from that there's not much left to do.

And finally, the best picture of all. Barb has been a huge part of every step along the way and is so supportive of what we are doing. There have been a ton of changes in our lives in the last few years and she has been a rock and anchor through it all. I'll post some pictures of the office sans carpet tomorrow, which will be my first day in our office space.



Saturday, September 22, 2007

Progress

Hi Everyone - just a quick note to bring you up to speed on our office development. This project has been more work than I anticipated and because everything is a 'first', it's that much more involved.

I'm happy to tell you that our walls our painted, we have some initial office furnishings in place and the carpet is on it's way. I'll actually go to the office to work next week, but we have no landline as yet and the room echoes like crazy on my cell phone so we've got a ways to go. The carpet arrives in about 8 days so it's not impossible and we've got some nice chairs on their way as well.

Watch for photos later today or Monday at the latest.

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Sounds of Fall

One of the big changes for Zack this year is that he can participate in band. He is the first person in our family to be able to play a brass instrument. In true fashion, Zack's instrument of choice is the equivalent of a tuba. YUP... a TUBA! The upside is that he doesn't have to lug it back and forth all year as he can use one at the school, but we did have to rent one for the year and yes... it was the most expensive instrument on the sheet. He had his first band class this week and learned how to use the mouthpiece. On the way home from the music store he entertained us with a full complement of 'sounds' that all bore a striking resemblance to well... you can just imagine.

This morning, while I was trying to have some quiet time, Zack's friend came over with his trombone and they decided to 'practice' together in his room. His friend plays the trombone. While I appreicate their zeal, I'm looking forward to the day when they've had a few lessons and can actually play something that sounds like music.

The other big first in our house is that Tyler rode his bike to school today. As strange as this might sound, this is the first time that any of our kids have ridden a bike to school. The funny thing is that his school is only a 5 minute walk from our house, but he was proud and excited to be able to take his bike today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Rise and Build

We began work on our ministry office space yesterday. Like any other project it will probably be much bigger than it looks like it will be at the beginning, but it will be worth it!! We are converting the back half of a former classroom so it's really just about building a wall, drywalling, mudding, taping, sanding, patching some holes, choosing colors, flooring, furniture and fixtures.

We'll follow up with setting up the furniture, unpacking boxes and getting ready for the return of MLA's. It will be a busy but very exciting two weeks.

We are making progress towards our goal of having the reno's paid for before we move into our new space. If you'd like to be a part of the miracle, you'll find our donation page here. Thanks for your generosity.

If you are in the Victoria area, we are hosting a Partners and Friends BBQ on Sept 15th from 3-6 PM. We need to know that you are coming so if you'd like to be a part of our celebration, please click here to register.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Yipee!!

Even though I'm sitting down as I write this (have you ever tried typing while you stand??) I'm doing the happy dance on the inside. We've secured office space in a fantastic location near the Legislature. The office over looks the park, the windows open and the sun shines in when it doesn't rain in the winter. There's even a coffee shop across the street. To those who doubt that God is good, they bake their own cakes, muffins and pastries. Did I mention it's only about 2 blocks to the 'Y' which will be handy in light of the fantastic baking across the street?

This has happened very fast and without an ounce of stress which is totally amazing. At the same time it presents an exciting opportunity to see God provide. I wonder if you might consider helping us furnish our new office space? Our budget for furniture, decorating and prep work will be about $2000. We want to buy good quality furniture so that our stuff isn't broken and shabby a year from now. Our lease costs will be somewhere near $450/month so you might want to consider being a part of that as well. This is your opportunity to be a part of miracle.

Here's what I know to be true. Sowing results in reaping. Barb and I have learned a lot about sowing over the past few years and it is resulting in reaping today. We continue to sow significantly into the ministry to make it possible and will continue to do that. We know that we will reap both in the here and now and in the life that follows. We will see that harvest in our finances, relationships, children and ministry.

Perhaps you'd like to sow into the ministry as well. You can do that by clicking here. In sowing you will share in the ministry to the lives of leaders who will be encouraged, blessed and ministered to in that space. You'll also have a great place to visit when you come to Victoria!

Thanks for praying about being a part. Be blessed!!



Sunday, September 02, 2007

Getting Into the Groove

Summer vacation ends today. If you're a student, that's not necessarily good news. If you are a parent you just might be breathing a sigh of relief. We love our kids but are glad that school starts again in September!

This is also a time when MLA's will be preparing for the fall sitting of the Legislature. Contrary to popular belief, MLA's aren't on vacation all summer but rather spend their days in their ridings, meeting constituents and working on local issues. September brings caucus retreats, strategy and policy development sessions and a general ramping up of their schedules as they prepare to return to Victoria.


In anticipation of the fall session, we are busy developing a fall prayer strategy, building partnerships and arranging speaking/ministry engagements. It's an exciting time for us personally and for the ministry. We want to be covered in prayer and prepared to minister effectively on October 1st.

A good friend (and former neighbour) left me a comment on the blog about this being our season. I believe that he's right and that September will be absolutely amazing as God takes us to a whole new level.

Letting go of yesterday, embracing tomorrow!

Friday, August 31, 2007

They That Wait...

In a culture where being busy is equated with productivity, waiting hardly seems to be a fruitful activity. For those of us who have an 'A Type' personality, waiting is almost like torture as we sit, stand, pause and DO NOTHING until outside circumstances come together so that we can reach the top of our mountain.

This past month has been a time of waiting. I didn't intend on it being that way. I envisioned being on the phone, making appointments, meeting people, adding partners, securing office space, etc, etc. It was SUPPOSED to be a month of achievement, goal reaching and meeting targets. So I started, making calls, sending emails and generally trying to make things happen and then I made the stunning discovery that none of that was getting me any nearer to what I knew had to be done. People were on vacation, in summer mode and generally just chilling out. I felt like I was spitting in the wind ... so I began to wait. I bought some books that I'd been looking forward to reading for some time and devoured them. I spent time with the kids. I prayed. I walked the dog and kept walking with God.

Unknown to me, God had been busy doing His part on His time and in His way. Out of nowhere, people I've never met began to sow financially into the ministry. Speaking opportunities began to present themselves, simple 'get to know you' lunch meetings became catalysts to partnerships, friendships and alliances. We have a great opportunity for a fantastic office space that goes beyond anything that I could have dared to ask, think or imagine! It even provides a view of the park, has a coffee shop across the street and is within walking distance of our house and the Legislature. Anything that I had looked at or considered earlier pales in comparison to what this space will be. It's not official yet, but my Father is working out the details and I'm looking forward to moving in. Even if it's not in that place, He has the perfect space picked out for us.

I've come to see something else connected to waiting. There have been many people who have prayed, dreamed and waited for years to see something like what God has called us to do. They have plowed the way and laid down their lives and waited. I spoke with one man who was in tears as he told me that he had prayed for the government and for MLA's until he became so discouraged that he had simply given up. He and many like him have waited while God was doing what was unseen and preparing it all for such a time as this.

I'm discovering that waiting is an art. It's not about doing nothing and being irresponsible. It's about trusting and resting and staying focused while our Father in heaven is working out the details in our lives.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Being still....

Zoe and I went to the beach yesterday. She explored, swam and 'fetched'. I took the opportunity to listen to the waves on the gravel and I began to think about how many waves had rolled over those small round stones and how much they had changed over the centuries. The waves came in different sizes and with varying intensity and they all ended at the same place and in the process sifted through the hundreds of thousands of stones until the rough edges were knocked off and they roll through each other as the waves recede to the ocean.

I love the ocean and the lessons I learn there. It's a place where I have always been able to hear the voice of God and see something that reminds me that He is at work in me and on my behalf. I'm in a place I've never been in my life. Launching a ministry and growing a partnership base requires a level of faith and trust that is something new to me. The temptation on days when it's slow and there aren't a lot of people available to talk to is to take matters into my own hands and do 'something' and yet taking matters into my own hands is the beginning of walking according to my own wisdom and understanding.

Proverbs tells me that there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death. One of the most interesting prophetic words that has been shared with me is that there will be days when the wind will blow favorably and fill our sails propelling us forward. There will be other times when there will be no wind and it will seem like we are going no where. The word to us was to 'be still' and know that He is God.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that being still is a challenge for me, but it's one I need to rise to so that I can learn the lesson of trust and obedience.

Learning to rest...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Gopher Hunters Keep the Prairie Safe

Reports from the prairies indicate that the gopher infestation has reached epic proportions. The situation has become so severe that serious measures are being implemented to address the issue. The government has hired two "gopher assasins" to begin immediate extermination of any and all gophers. Their orders are to shoot to kill any and all gophers on sight with the exception of "Gainer" who is generally only seen at Roughrider games.

In order to avoid any confusion about the identity of these highly trained assasins, we are releasing their photos to the public for quick identification and also to demonstrate their immediate success in exterminating the vermin.

Zack "Go Ahead... Make My Day" Schindel



Toothless Tyler Schindel
"The Terminator"
These assasins were trained by their uncle Rodger "is that gunfire I hear?" Gregor, and are skilled professionals. Thanks to their hard work, dedication and commitment, the prairie will remain safe and free.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Thoughts from the beach...

I took Zoe for a walk today. The upside of this move for her is that she gets a swim in the ocean every few days. If we forget, she will put her paw on your leg, look at you with her brown eyes and just push down. Anyway, I got the 'hint' from her this morning and we went to the beach. While we were there, I saw several jellyfish. One on the beach and one in the surf. Jellyfish are interesting. They rely on the tides, currents to get around.

While I didn't see any today, I know that there are salmon in the same waters where Zoe swims. As I watched the jellyfish float in the surf, I couldn't help but think about the strength and determination of the salmon. We used to go observe the Adams River Salmon Run near Kamloops. It's pretty impressive to watch thousands of salmon work their way up the river to lay their eggs especially when you consider the journey that they make in order to do it. It's no easy feat to survive 3 years in the open ocean, escape fishing lures, nets, natural predators and ulitmately swim up the Fraser River, through the Fraser Canyon, Little Shuswap Lake and into the Adams River. It's not the kind of journey that a jellyfish could make.

It occurs to me that life requires us to be more like salmon than jellyfish. There are times and seasons in our lives where it's okay, even necessary to float, but most of the time, getting to where we want to be requires us to swim, work against the current and overcome the challenges that stand between where we are and where we want to be. Keep swimming. You'll get there!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Watergun Commando

One of the things that we didn't consider when we moved is that routines would have to be re-created around our new environment. That's not to say that everything is in chaos, but it's interesting to see how a new place means that we have to discover new ways to do what we've always done. For example, Zack and Tyler just took the dog for a walk so she could run and play. In Kamloops, it was just a matter of throwing a ball in the back yard. Here, it's much different because the yard is too small and the park is a few blocks away. I told you all of that just to say one of the reasons that I haven't posted as often as I'd like to is because of what seem like endless changes in our lives that have resulted in less creative ideas than I usually have.

I saw something today that made me laugh out loud. As I was driving down the street, I noticed a little person (probably about 7) jump out from behind the fence in his townhouse complex and shoot the windshield of the vehicle coming towards me with his supersoaker. After about a 2 second blast, he ducked behind the fence to wait for his next "victim", which in this case just happened to be an unmarked police car. I am NOT making this up... I couldn't stop to observe the consequences of his actions, but I'm guessing that he's not hiding behind the fence any more... unless the policeman had a very good sense of humour or he had VERY fast little legs!

This begs for a pastoral lesson so here are several options for you:
1) Sometimes we play with a spiritual supersoaker and think that it's really something lethal.
2) Know your enemy. Don't take on more than you can handle.
3) Live dangerously... nothing will happen if you don't try something.
4) The element of surprise makes up for a lack of wisdom. (with my tongue firmly in my cheek!)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

When the seas roar and foam...

We were at church this morning, visiting with some old friends and getting reaquainted as we start to put down roots in our new city. After the service was over, I visited with an old friend. We haven't seen each other in years and had a few minutes to catch up on different things. Her husband was in a motorcycle accident 6 weeks ago and had recovered so well that he was able to go on a wilderness canoe trip with his friends. She left and I found some new friends to visit.

Shortly after, I noticed a police officer go down a hallway to the pastors office. After a few minutes, the pastor came out and called me into his office. When we got there, he told us that the person who had been in the MC accident, had drowned this morning in a canoe accident. He was on his way to break the news to his wife.

We prayed together and he left to deliver the most difficult news possible. I've spent the last few hours praying and mulling over this sad development of events. There are no easy answers, nor will there ever be any easy answers to this tragedy. Bad things happen to good people, even very good people. Death hurts. It stings and it messes up plans and lives... Death is rarely a welcome visitor.

As you read this, perhaps you could take a few minutes to pray for Gloria, Mark, Vince and their sister. They have lost a fantastic husband and father. Also pray for Pastor Funk as he ministers to the family and the church as they deal with this very significant loss. Bernie was a board member and leader in the church and this is a significant loss in every way.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What an amazing woman.

I got this from my friend Mark Hawkes who is a prof at Summit Pacific College.

I have been working on a sermon for this Sunday, looking at the perspective of Naomi and how she approached the events in her life. While I have been working on Naomi’s perspective God has also been opening my mind to Ruth’s. Man I do love the God I’m serving (ok most of the time!!). This amazing story follows a family from Bethlehem during a period of total moral chaos and confusion. Ruth is about the sovereign work of God in the lives of unassuming, humble people. Out of the gloom, decadence and moral crises comes this refreshing, wholesome love story. In it God is actually working out his blessing in and through this family. However, if one looks in the wrong place it will be missed. This reminds me that so often I look in the wrong place and miss what God is doing.What was it about Naomi’s boy that attracted Ruth in the first place? He was a foreigner and refugee from Bethlehem. He wasn’t rich and he didn’t have a sweet ride! Ruth marries and within a few years, she is left a a widow with no child. She must have wondered if she had made a mistake marrying into this family, especially when her father-in-law and brother-in-law also die. What is that? What would I be thinking? What did these three women talk, how did they explain all their husbands dieing so close together? What were the neighbours thinking and saying? Wouldn’t they possible be thinking the gods have cursed them; there must be something wrong with these women? How can they all be barren, and all their husbands die?When Ruth’s mother-in-law wants to return to Bethlehem, Ruth makes the decision to go with her. What was Ruth thinking? Did she not have any family in Moab? Would she not have questioned a God who would let three men in the same family die, leaving only widows? She must have had many questions. Did she not understand that in moving to Bethlehem she would most likely remain a childless widow? She was still a young widowed woman with no child of her own. Did she wonder if God was displeased with her? Did she wonder what this God of hers was doing? The questions must have raced through her mind. As I read this story, I’m amazed at the situation of this young woman. What was God thinking???Naomi returns to Bethlehem with Ruth, and yet Naomi states “she went out full and came back empty”. How did this make Ruth feel? Ruth must have had great fear and apprehension as she went out to work in the fields. A stranger and a foreigner to boot. How did she just happen to find a field that Boaz owned? How did she choose it (rock, paper, scissors), how did God lead her there? Boaz must have been watching Ruth, he inquired about her, he takes a liking to her, because she is industrious (hard work does pay off) she must have had some looks also. What went through her head when she is given so much food, and she is invited to eat with Boaz? I wondered if she though about Boaz at all? Boaz was a land owner, why was he not already married? Was there something wrong with him; was he too picky, maybe he was not good looking? I don’t know, but he wasn’t married, which does not fit the normality of the day. What had God permitted in his life that would place him in this place at this time? Did he wonder what God was doing.I wonder what went through Ruth’s mind when Naomi told her to go to the threshing floor, find Boaz and at night "uncover his feet" and lie down at his feet. Would you do that if your mother-in-law asked you to, I think NOT!! Had they talked about Boaz before? Did Ruth even like him, he was much older so the text tells us; "The LORD bless you, my daughter," he replied. "This kindness is greater than that which you showed earlier: You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor” I wonder if she entertained the thought, what if he doesn’t accept the proposal. What then, would she be the brunt of the jokes, would they call her a desperate woman? I can’t imagine her thoughts and fears as she waits at the threshing floor for all to fall asleep. Then she sneaks through the darkness to where she saw Boaz lie down for the night. She then lies down at his feet thinking “this could turn out really bad. “This God I serve already took my first husband; it couldn’t get any worse, could it?”Boaz awakes and lets her know that he accepts her proposal and wants to marry her. I’m sure she was filled with excitement!! And then the incredible!! Boaz tells her there is another man who has first choice!! FIRST CHOICE, am I a piece of meat that can be bartered on? Boaz tells Ruth to stay the night and in the morning go home and wait until the matter is settled. Wait, wait for what? Did she sleep that night? I know I would not be sleeping at all. I’m sure Ruth must have been thinking, “Naomi when I get home I’m going to kill you. What did I get myself into!!” Can it get any worse??? You bet!! There is the real possibility that she will have to marry this other man, and she doesn’t even know him. Her first husband died, now the man she proposed to, her next possible husband must follow some stupid law which would see her marrying someone else. That has to suck!! If I was in that situation, how would I be waiting?? How would you be waiting?? I think I would take off back to Moab!! This God of Israel sure knows how to screw things up!! Try and tell Ruth that YHWH is working things out, go ahead I dare you!!Boaz does the right thing and he and Ruth marry and they live happily ever after. I almost feel the tears welling up in my eyes. NOT!! A son is born to Boaz and Ruth and the women bless Naomi. Now I’m sure Ruth thought, these people are crazy, they praising Naomi. “The women said to Naomi: "Praise be to the LORD, who this day has not left you without a kinsman-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David. Ruth knows she gave birth to this son, and yet the son becomes Naomi’s. We see God working through a person for the good of someone else. And yet that working is not always easy. What did Ruth think? This was her first child and it was a boy!!The events of Ruth happened "in the days when the judges ruled" (1:1). People did what was right in their own eyes. This woman puts me to shame! How did she do what she did? Naomi blames God for the bad things, and then praises him for the good things. We are not told what Ruth thought or said, but she is the one who shines in this story. I have read this story many times, and this is the first time I have really tried to look at it through the eyes and perspective of Ruth. This pagan woman has great faith, and when Israel is doing what is right in their own eyes, Ruth is doing what is right in God’s eyes. Oh God help me to do what is right in Your eyes, regardless of what is going on around me, regardless of what others are doing. And if there are painful events in my life that you design to bless someone else, help me to do what is right in Your eyes regardless of my perception.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Home Again

We arrived home late on Saturday night from our nearly 3 week vacation. It was a bit strange veering west at Olympia towards Port Angeles rather than heading north towards Kamloops, but I guess that's a bit understandable after 13 years. After taking a few days to clear out the cobwebs from the long drive home, I'm looking forward to tomorrow as the ministry will become a "full time" focus at that point. In reality it's been a full time focus for a long time, it's just that I'll begin to draw a modest salary starting on the 1st that will allow me to focus exclusively on the ministry rather than on 2 or 3 other things to keep body and soul together. We've got a long way to go until it's a liveable salary, but it's a start and gives us the opportunity to work exclusively on growing the ministry.

I've learned a lot about "faith declarations" over the past year. It's interesting how our words determine our future. I distinctly remember saying I wanted "x" dollars in the ministry account before I would begin to draw a salary. It's extremely interesting that we have exactly "X" amount of dollars in our account. I wish I had chosen a higher number, but our next goal is to be fully funded by October 1st. That leaves a significant amount of ground to cover, but we will get there by God's help and strength.

Our friends Sandro and Cindy (and their "brady bunch") are visiting us for a few days. We are so glad to have them here. We've known Sandro for a long time but only met Cindy a year ago. She's fantastic and we feel like we've known her forever. The kids are watching vacation video which is sort of like vacation slides only faster.

Finally, I should say that I've joined facebook which explains my lack of posting. I'll try and do better on here because it's important to keep this fresh and relevant. However, if you are on facebook, feel free to contact me there too.

Have a good one!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Let's go surfin' now...

Sorry for the long gap, but we are on vacation and so it's been more challenging to write. We left a day early (yay!!) on our surprise laden vacation. We are in Southern California, although the boys only thought we were going to Seattle. We were able to get as far as central Oregon before we told them that we were really going to Disneyland. The response was better than we anticipated. Tyler was screaming because he was so excited. It's probably a good thing that we told them in the van, rather than inside a building...

We are having a great time staying with family in a fantastic location. We spent Saturday night in Anaheim and went to see the Angels and Rangers. On Sunday we visited Angeles Temple and saw Delerious in concert. Delerious was a bonus, as we were planning to be there anyway. Angeles Temple is having a tremendous impact on Los Angeles and God is doing incredible things there.

We came to San Diego on Sunday afternoon and will be here through Friday when we will return to Anaheim and meet some friends from Kamloops. This is the next big surprise for the boys as they don't know that some of the friends will be meeting them at Disneyland.

We're not sure about our plans for today. We may hang around the pool here or we may go to the beach or we may take Britt to a mall or we .... (you get the idea...)

We'll keep you posted.

Tim

Sunday, July 08, 2007

It's a Beautiful Day ... the sequel

I've added a new post under "Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" but it shows for July 1 instead of July 8. Click back to see the latest post.

Oops..

Tim

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Dominion Day!

What we now call Canada Day, used to be called Dominion Day. Dominion Day had it's roots in the naming of the Canadian Confederation when Premier Tilley suggested to the 1866 Conference of Confederation that Canada be called the "Dominion of Canada" based on Ps. 72:8 "And he shall have dominion also from sea to sea". The conference endorsed his recommendation and sent it to Queen Victoria for her approval. On July 1st, 1867, she proclaimed the Dominion of Canada into existence. It's really incredible to think that her royal proclamation endorsed what God had spoken before the foundations of the earth were laid.

Ps. 72:8 is actually Canada's official motto. I can't help but smile when I think that our forefathers embraced a prophetic declaration of the coming kingdom of Jesus as the phrase that would identify our nation. Admittedly, not a lot of people see the verse for what it is, but the reality of God's word is that He watches over it to perform it whether people believe it or not. He is God and His word does not return empty. It always produces the harvest that He intended. His purpose and plan for Canada will be accomplished. He will have dominion from sea to sea and our nation will be an source and symbol of hope, restoration and blessing for the nations of the earth.

If you've been following the blog, you'll know that we've just moved from Kamloops to Victoria in order to more fully and effectively fulfill God's call on our lives. We literally live 3 blocks from the sea in 3 directions. Now that we are settling in and the bulk of the unpacking has been completed, part of my daily routine will be to prayer walk around the Legislature on a daily basis and pray that His will would be done on here on earth as it is in heaven. Because government is bigger than just the Legislative precinct, I may expand my walk to cover a different ministry headquarters each day as well. What do you think??