Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Choosing Faith!

A few years ago, I got an email telling me that I'd been selected to be added to a 'Who's Who' list. It was a heady moment!  Imagine... me .... on a 'Who's Who list.  The very thought made me feel brighter and better than I ever dreamed possible!!

Initially, my curiosity got the better of me and I started responding to emails and voicemails to learn a bit more about the 'exclusive club' I was being invited into.  At first, it was almost too good to be true.  And then I found out that the whole thing was a scam.  It was a very good scam perpetrated by someone with a very 'posh' accent, but a scam nonetheless.  

The upside was that my credit card company was able to reverse the charge for the 'initiation fee'!  

(I know you're laughing at me... I can hear you from here!!)  

The initiation fee for a legit 'Who's Who' list usually isn't paid by credit card, it's earned by achieving something amazing and overcoming multiple obstacles along the way.  There are no shortcuts. There is always hard work, focus, courage, persistence, discipline, self-sacrifice and the list goes on.

Hebrews 11 has a long list of people who made God's 'Who's Who' list.  The stories behind the names on the list make my heart beat a little bit faster and stir something deep inside me.  I love the wins that come along with following what God puts in your heart.  As I read about the price these people paid to see those wins come to pass, I tremble at the thought.  Add to that the sobering reality that some never saw the fulfilment of what they believed for and the price just becomes that much greater.

Along the way, they 'conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; they shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; their weakness was turned to strength, and they became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.' (v. 33, 34)  The very thought of what they experienced takes my breath away... and they accomplished it all through an obedient faith that propelled them forward and did not permit them to quit.

For the past few days, I have been reflecting on the scope of what we have undertaken as a ministry.  If I say it quickly enough, the vision to provide chaplaincy ministry to every politician in Canada almost seems attainable. When I take the time to say it slowly and measure the weight of that goal and the challenges that it presents, the task starts to feel more impossible than doable.  At this point, there are only two options before me.  I can permit myself to be overcome by the scope and size of what God has put before me, OR I can align myself with the saints I read about in Hebrews 11.  

I choose the latter because those people made their lives count for something!

Nothing worthwhile happens unless we are PRAYERFUL, FAITHFUL, COURAGEOUS and OBEDIENT.
(LI Value Statement)

We know we won't get there by ourselves and we know that we can't get there without people like you praying for us, believing with us, partnering with us and supporting us.  Right now, your prayers, encouragement and partnership mean more to us than ever before. 

Thanks for standing with us!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Something's Happening Here....

You could be forgiven for assuming that mixing leaders from government, business, church, and community together for an event might look more like a science experiment gone wrong than a gathering of friends and family, but that's the feeling I get every time we host our annual MLA Prayer Breakfast!  

Our most recent event was no exception.  140 church, community and business leaders and another 30 Members of the BC Legislature came together in a buzz of conversation, appreciation, reflection and inspiration!  
What I love most about the breakfast is the way paradigms change over breakfast and the relationships that are built around the table.  Here's what I mean...  

The Church doesn't necessarily have a reputation for being gracious, kind and affirming of politicians.  Most of that comes from our general lack of engagement in a positive manner.  Most first time attendees come through the door with a measure of trepidation as they ponder an hour with strangers over breakfast.  What they discover makes me deeply proud of my spiritual family.

Members meet people who are interested in them, like to be with them and in every way do their best over that hour to honour, affirm and connect with them in meaningful ways.  Some become friends who stay in touch over the years, some make commitments to pray for the member at their table for the next year.  Over time, the event has become an anticipated gathering of friends where everyone around the table is believing the best about everyone else sitting around the table.  

My favourite comment out of this year's breakfast happened during introductions later that day.  A member who had just attended his first breakfast commented on how he had enjoyed his time and couldn't recall hearing 'O Canada' sung with such passion and volume previously.

This event works and improves every year because of the people who sit around the tables and very intentionally show and share the love of Jesus and His love for leaders in gracious and respectful ways.  

To those who attended the Prayer Breakfast this year or in years gone by, let me thank you for helping us build a fantastic event.  If you've never come but have prayed for us, thank you for standing in the gap for us!  

If you are reading this and thinking 'I'd like to do something like that', let me encourage you to do so.  The rewards are amazing!!

Click here to see view more photos from the breakfast!