Friday, November 28, 2008

So Here's What Happened

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I would be spending more time in prayer for our government and MLA's as they debated the government's 10 point plan to deal with the economy. In addition to thanking you for your interest, I also wanted to tell you what happened.

I continue to be amazed at the response to the email I sent out earlier this week. Over 800 people read it and were praying with us. That is amazing and tremendously encouraging. On Tuesday afternoon I sent an email to the leadership team of the Pastor's prayer group that I belong to inviting them to consider holding their meeting at the Legislature on Thursday morning. I'm delighted to tell you 10 pastors came together to pray that morning. I am so grateful for the favor of God upon the ministry and what we are seeking to do. It was a very dull time in the Legislature that morning as the bill was being debated line by line by a very small group of MLA's, but we prayed that God would accomplish His purposes for our province during this critical time.

I feel like we've turned a very significant corner this fall and that there's a broader level of understanding, acceptance and support for what we are doing. Our last two public events have been well supported by local pastors which is very encouraging.

Even the MLA's I was able to see expressed their appreciation for what we are doing. I have a very clear sense that God is preparing us for the next step in moving the ministry forward here in BC during the Spring session.

Thanks again for praying and standing with us. Knowing you were there has made this an awesome week!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Call To Prayer

The Legislature resumed on Thursday for what turned out to be a fairly short day. The purpose for this abbreviated fall session is to pass an economic strategy that will help BC manage the current economic situation. Next week, the House resumes business from Monday to Thursday. By all indications, it will be a raucous and combative session as both sides seek to score points in preparation for the election. Politics aside, there is a serious global economic problem that is certain to affect British Columbia sooner or later so it's important to deal with the proposed legislation in a prudent manner with an awareness of the seriousness of the situation and the consequences of a poor set of decisions.

As I sat in the gallery on Thursday, my impression was that, bravado aside, no one really knows what to do because the situation remains so volatile that what may be a good decision today may be a disastrous decision tomorrow. That being said, I am comforted by the confidence that this is not the first time in history that leaders have faced uncertain times. I'm keenly aware that God remains in control and that He is able to either speak to the storm and bring peace or that He will use the storm to accomplish His purposes through it.

In the midst of my confidence, I also see that I must do more than simply observe the leaders and their responses to the markets. I must stand in the gap. Not only I, but we... together... must stand in the gap to pray for those who are making decisions in what has become a very perilous time. If they make decisions that are in keeping with the heart and mind of God, we will benefit as a people and province. If their decisions are contrary to God's purpose and plan, we will face an economic and social disaster.

I'm committing myself to praying diligently for the members of the BC Legislature over the next week as they make decisions. In particular, I suggest that we pray for the following people on a daily basis with the simple request that wisdom and a desire for the highest good would overtake political agendas over the coming week.

Premier Gordon Campbell, Hon. Colin Hansen (Minister of Finance), Carol James, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Mike de Jong (Government House Leader) and Mike Farnworth (Opposition House Leader)

When you pray, ask the Lord to give these leaders in particular a spirit of wisdom, grace, courage, insight and humility. Our province needs a level of leadership that is able to rise above short term partisanship and political ideology and into a level of unity and cooperation that will result in good decisions being made that will benefit us now and in the future.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

BC Legislature Resumes Today

The BC Legislature resumed sitting today for an abbreviated fall session. The agenda is fairly straightforward. The world has changed significantly since the Legislature last met. In May, gas was 1.39/litre, the market was soaring and while the US economy was undergoing stresses, BC was still doing well. What a difference 5 months can make. The market has dropped over 6500 points since May. The crisis in the US is much more severe than anyone would have expected and the wheels are falling off the market forces that have driven our economy.

The reason for coming together is to approve legislation that the government hopes will help BC manage the current economic crisis. I spent about 90 minutes this morning listening to speeches. It's one of the few times that everyone agrees that there is a problem. One member spoke of the impact in his community and he drew the very important connection between job loss and community impact. Lost jobs mean lost coaches and volunteers. They mean lost families and neighbors and lost community leaders. He spoke with passion and emotion. I think every member cares about their constituents, but this man cares for those he serves and I think there's a big difference between the two.

The Legislature starts every day with prayer. The prayer this morning was particularly impressive as the member asked for wisdom in this difficult time. There are no easy answers to what we are facing and it is only through the wisdom of God that we will find a way out.

Today I'd like to direct you to our monthly prayer calender. Every day, we pray for a different MLA and over the next week, they will need our prayers more than ever before. You can download the monthly calendar or you can use the online option. Either way, take some time to remember those who serve as MLA's over the next week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Pastor Speaks About Barak Obama

I confess that I've been somewhat stunned by the response of leaders within the Church to the election of Barak Obama. I've read their books, used their material and held them in high regard, but their mean-spirited response to Mr. Obama's election to the presidency really disturbs me. I've been tempted to write a rebbutal, but I don't think it would serve the purpose that I intend. Then I determined to do nothing, which is appealing but so NOT what I really believe in.

Then a friend shared this video with me. While the focus is clearly American, I can't help but be impressed with the pastor's approach, wisdom and integrity as he handles a difficult and complex issue. It's about 20 minutes in length but well worth the time and I'd encourage you to watch it, particularly if you are a pastor or church leader.

Beeson's Thoughts from Granger Community on Vimeo.

Have an awesome day!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

National Philanthropy Day

When I heard the radio story about this being National Philanthropy Day, I couldn't help but agree with how appropriate it was to make THIS DAY National Philanthropy Day. What puzzles me is that while this has been National Philanthropy Day for some time, I have yet to receive any philanthropic benefits on this day. For 46 years this has also been MY BIRTHDAY so... here's a big 'shout out' to all of the Philanthropists out there. It's your day and it's my day .... let's get together.... LOL!!

Have a fantastic day!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I attended the Remembrance Day service in our community today. I was impressed with the size of the crowd and the measure of respect that was shown. I think the fact that there's a strong military presence in Victoria adds to the significance of the moment. There were so many members in uniform. As the Last Post was being played, they stood at attention and saluted. It was very moving.

Remembrance Day marks an anniversary for me personally. I moved to BC in 1986 and arrived here on Remembrance Day. Barb was already here and I was on my way to Duncan to serve as the Youth Pastor there. I remember driving the Coquihalla in some of the worst conditions I've ever seen on that road. My car was fully loaded and the downhill grade after the toll both was covered with wet, early winter snow. If you've ever been there, you'll know that the grade is quite steep. Being from the prairies, I didn't know what I was getting into and was soon hurtling down the slippery road at about 100km, which was far too fast for the conditions. When I touched the brakes, the car started to slide. The snow was falling so fast there was no bare pavement or sand to provide traction. I felt like I was on a bobsled ride and hoped and prayed for the best. Thankfully, the infamous 'snowshed' appeared on the horizon. I knew that my best hope was to make it onto the bare pavement inside the shed. I'm certain I held my breath as I my speed approached 140 km on the way down to the shed. I remember breathing a profound prayer of thanks as I flew into the snowshed. While the grade diminishes considerably after that, I'm pretty certain that I crawled the rest of the way to Abbotsford that night.

It's hard to believe that 22 years have passed since then. They have been good years for which I am very thankful, but I often think back to my first trip down the 'Coq' on Remembrance Day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama Wins

I've spent most of the last few hours watching the US Election results. I couldn't help but be moved by the scene at Ebenenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Ebenezer Baptist was the church that Martin Luther King Jr. and his father both served as pastor. The idea that it was a pastor who led the movement that eventually permitted a black man to become the President of the United States is inspiring to me. Few would have given Rev. King, Rosa Parks and others much hope of success when they began marching and preaching and defying the authorities and the many odds against them.

How appropriate that on this remarkable and historic night that the church where Rev. King once pastored would be filled with worship and thanksgiving. The church must return to the place where it becomes the cradle of national transformation, the crucible that brings forth a social renewal that prevails over cynicism and skepticism and the catalyst that releases mercy and justice, faith,hope, courage and strength into a world that so desperately needs it.

Congrats to President Elect Obama. May God strengthen you, help you and fill you with tremendous wisdom and strength. May the Church in America rally to your support on their knees as they lift you up before our Father in heaven as you assume your responsibilities as President of the United States.

Election Day in The USA

Today is the big day. After almost a billion (that's with a 'B') dollars spent over the last 21 months, Americans will vote today to choose the next President. Expectations are for heavy voter turnout (90%) which is very impressive. Within about 12 hours we should know the results as we watch the US Map divide itself into Blue and Red states.

I have some thoughts on this election that I'll share later, but today I wish our neighbors to the South a wonderful election and pray that God would use this election to accomplish His purposes for America.

Monday, November 03, 2008

City's Passionate Preacher Dies

Bernice Gerard was a forerunner and visionary. She successfully engaged and shaped her city as she allowed God to use her many gifts and abilities. She was a bridge-builder who was willing to engage those who disagreed while at the same time holding true to her own values and beliefs. As you'll see in the article below, in addition to planting a church in Vancouver, she was also a broadcaster, radio host, city councillor, University Chaplain, voice of conscience and a general catalyst. She made her life count for someone more than just herself. She made a mark on her generation and the ones that follow because of her willingness to be a servant of her Lord and Saviour.

I'm attaching the story of her passing from today's Vancouver Province.

From the Vancouver Province

Katie Mercer, The ProvincePublished: Monday, November 03, 2008

Bernice Gerard, ground-breaking broadcast evangelist, former alderman and pioneer of university ministries, has died. She was 84.
"She was a strong voice for moral decency and challenged the city in new ways," said pastor Greg Laing of Point Grey Community Church.
"She just had so much going on. She was just tireless, full of passion, full of righteousness and full of love of God."

Gerard, who was adopted by a native family before becoming a ward of the province, spent her early years travelling throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Central America, evangelizing with Velma Chapman and Jean McColl.
She settled in B.C., and pioneered the University Christian Ministries by becoming the first chaplain at the University of B.C. and one of the first at Simon Fraser University.
She was a Vancouver councillor from 1977 to 1980, and most notably staged the 1977 march against nudity on Wreck Beach.

The pentecostal preacher took her passion to the airwaves, hosting the Christian talk-show Encounter from 1971 to 1988. Gerard also co-hosted Sunday Line with ministry colleague Chapman, from 1971 to 2000.

Before being forced into retirement because of Parkinson's, Gerard hosted the daily talk show KARI, in Blaine, Wash. Laing said Gerard was a legendary, inspiring and humble leader.
"Her legacy is the countless lives she has touched," said Laing. "She had the vision, she had the passion and she just did it."

Gerard, who had been in hospital for years, died on Saturday.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Saints Day

Did you know that Nov 1st is 'Saints Day'? It's a day set aside on the church calendar to celebrate the saints, both known and unknown. The intent is to remember the character and exploits of all of those who have run this race before us and to draw inspiration from their example.

I think it's fantastic to look back and celebrate, but I also think it's important to see the saints around us and recognize that inspiration and exploits are happening around us today. The saints are making a difference today. The saints are touching their world and transforming it and shaping it as they do. The saints work as school teachers and aides. They work as nurses and bus drivers. The saints start soup kitchens, street ministries and businesses. The saints run for office, they serve as community leaders and they are members of service clubs.

The saints coach minor league teams, coordinate car pools and work as school volunteers.

The saints make time to pray for their neighbors, communities, schools and governments. Though there are times when the saints are maligned, misunderstood and marginalized, the saints are serving as salt and light and are making a difference in their world.

This is the Day of The Saints!! Enjoy it!