Monday, December 31, 2007
Please come and join us for this very historic event. You can reserve online by clicking here.
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”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
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.
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
Here are some pictures for you.
(the yellow paint is going and will be replaced with something warmer)
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
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
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
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
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
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
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
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.
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 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
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
Friday, November 02, 2007
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.
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.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
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.
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
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...
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 email@example.com and let me know you're praying with me.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
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.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Enjoy the video.
Monday, October 15, 2007
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
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
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
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.
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
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."
Monday, September 24, 2007
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!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Sunday, July 01, 2007
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??