Friday, November 27, 2015

A Prayer for Our Leaders

Here's a list to PRAY for Godly Leaders that would care about the things that you care about. I pray for all men and women having authority over us in any way.  Praying for thirteen Premiers of Canada, currently three are women. The longest-serving Premier is Brad Wall of Saskatchewan, who has held the position since November 21, 2007; the newest Premier is Rachel Notley of Alberta, who assumed office on May 24, 2015. The oldest Premier, Greg Selinger of Manitoba, was born in 1951; The youngest Premier, Brian Gallant of New Brunswick, was born in 1982. There are thirteen incumbent Premiers, of which six are from a Liberal Party, two are from a New Democratic Party, one is from a Progressive Conservative Party, one is from the Saskatchewan Party, one is from the Yukon Party, and two are non-partisan.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Transitions and the Power of Prayer

Courtesy of our friends at 'Nation At Prayer'

People woke up Tuesday morning to another new day - and a nation in transition.  A new Prime Minister had been elected; the Third Party has become the party in power; the Official Opposition has become the Third Party; the party in power has become the Official Opposition; the Green Party lost a member; the Bloc increased from 4 to 10; and the sitting Prime Minister resigned as Party Leader.  
1,792 candidates ran for office, 1,454 unsuccessfully, including 106 incumbent MPs; 338 were elected, of which 197 are new to Ottawa. 
Transition does not only impact the party standings; it impacts the life of every candidate and his/her family. Every candidate is in process of closing their campaign offices; in addition, defeated incumbents may be moving from accommodation in Ottawa while dealing with the sting of defeat and contemplating their life after politics; successful candidates are looking for new constituency offices and waiting to be assigned their Ottawa offices, while making living arrangements in their 'home away from home'.
Those returning to Ottawa are going through transition - to new roles in Parliament, new seating arrangements (in many cases on the opposite side of the House), and unfamiliar colleagues. Many of them are experiencing varying emotions as they adjust to the reality that some of their colleagues are not returning, even as they adjust to new personalities and changed balances of power.

Families are preparing for the long absences from home that accompany elected office; some are weighing the relative merits of moving to Ottawa where they can be together throughout the week while maintaining a presence in the constituency.

For those of us who know and trust the transforming power of prayer, this transition is much more than a time of change; it is the time to invite the unequaled and extraordinary power of the Holy Spirit to infuse the hearts and minds of those who now govern our nation, so that God's purposes for Canada will be served.  Whatever our thoughts and feelings about the outcome of the election, we have the great privilege and even greater responsibility, as the apostle Paul instructs, to give priority to praying for all who govern.  What confidence is ours that God can be fully trusted; that He is at work in ways beyond our knowing, for our good and the good of the nation; that He can use every elected representative for His purposes; and that there is nothing in all creation that He cannot transform or beyond which He is not more powerful!


  • Wisdom and discernment as he assumes the role and in appointing the Cabinet
  • Capacity to understand complex issues
  • Energy and endurance
  • Adaptability in responding to rapidly changing circumstances and events
  • Protection for him and his family

  • Wisdom as they assume their new responsibilities
  • God's grace to use their position wisely with integrity and strength of character
  • The power of the Holy Spirit to overcome any sense of entitlement 
  • Their families, as they make the adjustment to new realities
  • Guidance in finding suitable accommodation and office space
  • Courage to do what is right and grace in doing it


Pray that the Holy Spirit will:
  • Remove any residual bitterness, depression, or sense of personal rejection
  • Guide them into new occupations with a renewed sense of call and fulfillment
  • Guide their families in making any adjustments
All now need refreshment from the grueling schedule of a 78-day campaign, and God's grace to return to a more normalized life.

Above all and for all, may this time of transition be a time of transformation when the Holy Spirit awakens or deepens relationships with the living God, the source of transformation.

Because we pray, their lives - and our nation - will be impacted and transformed.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Prayer For Our Nation

“I urge you first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way kings and all who are in authority…” 2 Tim 2:1-2
Father, I thank you for Canada and our new Prime Minister elect, Justin Trudeau. Lord, I pray that you would infuse him with humility, courage, honesty, and integrity. I lift up all our elected MP’s. I pray that they would call on you, seeking your grace and wisdom to fulfill their roles as our elected officials. I ask that you would protect the marriages and families of all 338 Members of Parliament.
I declare our prayers of blessing wield far more power than words of disappointment or complaint. We choose to respect and honour our leaders as your word clearly instructs us to do.
God keep our land glorious and free, from sea to sea to sea. AMEN.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Across the Country

We've got some great things happen across the country!  Here's the latest....

BC - A welcome to Jessica Pool who has assumed leadership for PrayBC.  This is an important ministry for us that really forms the foundation for what we are doing.  God has blessed us with a strong team of prayer writers but there is always room for more!  You can reach Jessica at to tell her of your interest in writing prayers.

The Legislature resumed in BC at the end of September and we are off to a great start.  We host a weekly prayer gathering and this past week was our largest gathering ever.  It's so exciting to hear leaders pray on behalf of the people of the province!  

AB - The change of government in Alberta has opened a tremendous door of opportunity to us. Murray Coughlan is doing a phenomenal volunteer job for us in Edmonton and has met with a number of MLAs already.  One MLA said the following in his meeting:  'I don't think you'll do any harm here and you might even do some good!  Welcome aboard!'  Best welcoming line ever!!

Our ever faithful prayer coordinator in Alberta is Elaine Baillie.  We are blessed to have her on our team.  Thanks for your hard work Elaine!

SK - Barry Berglund is having great success in Saskatchewan.  God has given him real favour with a number of Saskatoon based MLAs especially.  The Saskatchewan Legislature resumes in late October.

Dr. Scott Francis is leading PraySK.

MB - Pastor Weldon Yeo (Morden) is coordinating PrayMB.  We have an opening for a chaplain in Winnipeg.

ON - PrayOntario continues to grow under the leadership of Pastor Garry Fess.  We are very thankful for his willingness to serve and his commitment to the vision and ministry.  We remain committed to launching a chaplaincy in Ontario as soon as possible and continue to actively seek a suitable candidate.  For more information on our plans for Ontario and how you can help us, please see our most recent update article.  

Maritimes - We are having conversations with a pastor in the Maritimes who is interested in partnering with us.  We are eager to see how God will lead us in this regard.

Pursuing Our Vision

Our vision for Leading Influence has always had a national focus.  We see chaplains in every province and territory providing ministry care to elected leaders.  It's an enormous challenge that continues to stretch us.

Several years ago, our board went through a visioning process.  We created a strategic plan that called for Tim's role to change within the ministry so that we could move forward in pursuing the vision that God has put in our hearts.  In light of the challenges and opportunities before us as we seek to establish Leading Influence in Ontario and Eastern Canada, it's become apparent that we have reached the point for Tim's role to shift from ministry DELIVERY to ministry DEVELOPMENT.

While Tim will remain connected to BC, he will do so in a diminished role as Jason Goertzen has joined our BC team.  Tim's new focus will be twofold.  His first responsibility will be to ensure that our team of chaplains are well supported, resourced and equipped to effectively and capably serve our elected leaders.  His second focus will be to ensure that we successfully launch Leading Influence in Ontario.

Ontario is a significant challenge for us.  It is crucial for us to plant a strong successful chaplaincy in Toronto.  While we are confident that God has prepared someone to serve MPPs in Ontario, we have yet to find him/her.  In the short term, Tim will commute to Toronto one week/month in order to establish the ministry at Queens Park and to create awareness within Ontario as a whole but particularly in the Greater Toronto Area.  

This is an enormous task that will require tremendous resources.  We need your help!  We would like to invite you to consider partnering with us in the great cause of reaching out to elected officials through relationally based ministry.  You can help us financially by clicking here!  

Thanks for your support!

Welcome Jason Goertzen!

Jason GoertzenWe are excited to announce that Jason Goertzen has joined our BC Team as co-chaplain at the BC Legislature.  He will serve in a volunteer capacity and will remain on the pastoral team at LifeTree Church, here in Victoria.  In addition to his strong pastoral skills, Jason also brings with him a keen interest in politics, excellent people skills and a warm and engaging nature. He is being well received by members and staff alike.  

Jason is married to Christine and is the proud father of three children. (Melia, Zach and Ben) 

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

For the Gold!!!

Last fall or winter, I shared about an opportunity Barb and I had been given to participate on the chaplaincy team for the 2015 Parapan Games in Toronto. The opportunity came as the result of a polite challenge from then MLA now Hon. Michelle Stilwell to come and cheer her on as she competed in the games.  It was an honour to do so!  

I confess that I haven't followed Parapan events in the past, but the week that we spent serving athletes, coaches, officials and staff has really impacted me.  These people are inspiring on so many levels!  We watched a young runner on training runs with her guide in the village.  It was amazing to watch her run.  By the time the games were over she had collected 4 gold medals all while running tethered to her guide.

While we were waiting for Michelle's race, I started chatting with two athletes who were in the stands.  While we were talking, I noticed the one was sipping on a can of beer he had hidden in his jacket.  When I asked about their event, they told me he was a javelin thrower.  What could possibly go wrong with an impaired person throwing a sharpened pole?

There's a bit of a story coming up to Michelle's race.  On the Monday prior to her race, the weather was terrible. At one point, the rain was so heavy they stopped competition until conditions improved.  Michelle stopped by the Faith Centre to say hello and suggested that I do speak to my Friend about the weather for the next day.  We prayed with her for a safe and successful race before she left and I promised it wouldn't rain....

The next morning broke bright and clear but quickly clouded up.  As we were on our way to the venue, we experienced several rain showers.  By the time we got to the stadium, the rain had stopped and the track was drying.  I was feeling confident until about 45 minutes prior to race time when it started to rain again.  I may or may not have looked to the sky and said 'stop it' with my inside voice. :-)   About 15 minutes before the race the sun broke through, the rain stopped and the conditions were perfect for Michelle to win a gold medal in the Women's 100. There's nothing like singing O Canada when someone you know has just won gold!

While these are rare opportunities, our participation at the Games is an example of what we do to support and walk with those we serve.  While this particular moment is high profile and exciting, we also walk with people through difficult situations involving their health, personal and family issues.  Our commitment is always to provide gold medal level ministry to those we serve whatever the need may be.

For those of you who partnered with us in our Ironman of Golf event to make this possible, we want to say thank you for your generosity and support.  We could not have done this without you!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Every day that the Legislature is in session, various members make 2 minute statements on any topic they choose.  Gordon Hogg is the member for Surrey-White Rock.  Gord and I have become friends and I always enjoy his statements.  This one was so unique, I asked for his permission to publish it here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Most of us know about Humpy Dumpty. He sat on a wall and subsequently had a great fall. But like so many mishaps, in life and in policy, there are many things that we don't truly understand about Humpty — like how did he get in that precarious position anyway? What was he thinking? Why did he go up there, anyway? How did he get up there?

Like so many of us get into difficult positions and then wonder: "What was I thinking? How did I get into this mess?" And why was it that all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty back together again? I assume the king's horses and the king's men were pretty good at fixing things that didn't go the way that was expected, so what was different about Humpty's injury that was so challenging, that he couldn't, even with help, get it together again?

It seems that our ideas about how things work can fail us. Humpty was, I assume, the only one on the wall. If so, he had a different vantage point from everyone else — or every egg else. I wonder if he knew that sharing similar views was part of being socially and intellectually acceptable? What if Humpty's view was so different, yet correct, and everyone else's view was wrong?

It seems that no one challenging the prevailing view of a group is deemed credible. Maybe the king's horses and the king's men didn't tolerate different approaches and really didn't want to save Humpty because he was just going to see things differently anyway.

It seems that to get agreement that Humpty should have presented information in a way that confirms rather than threatens his group's values. He probably should have found some validators, experts with diverse views. Then, just then, perhaps he could have solved his differences. He should have focused less on facts and more on social meaning.

It seems that it's only when we perceive that a policy bears social meaning congenial to our own values that we become receptive to evidence, because culture is cognitive prior to facts, and in policy disputes culture is political prior to facts as well.

Humpty's story has so much to teach us. Seeing the world from different points and different vantage points helps us to better understand ideas and to better understand each other has so much to teach us. Seeing the world from different points and different vantage points helps us to better understand ideas and to better understand each other.

Plum Overloaded a.k.a. 'What To Do With Abundance'

From my friend Aleece Laird in Kamloops.  Posted with permission.
The plums on our tree this year have been ridiculous! I've never seen such abundance and it's amazing. What do you do with abundance though - do you embrace it or do you complain about it?
Our plum tree has made me think over the past few months, ever since I first saw the blossoms on it, I knew we were in for a record setting plum season. So here's how I think our plum abundance ties in with life and the best reactions:
1. Focus on the good - too many times, people look at work and an abundance of things to do as a curse. Like the plums, it's easy to get overwhelmed and think "what on earth am I going to do with this?" I say, focus on the positive and the abundance - it's a really good thing. There have been times with limited plums and that's kind of a bummer - I'd rather abundance over no abundance.
2. Make a plan - how many times have we looked at our calendars or life and thought thoughts of defeat before the situation even happened. "I can't do this" or "I'm not capable" are thoughts so many of us have. I find if we make a plan, we can do so much better with situations presented to us. So when the overwhelming comes, we've got at least a strategy for the future (my financial planner guy should read this - he'd pat me on the back for listening... finally)
3. Enlist help - our 12 year old made about $4.00 in the course of 30 minutes last night as his responsibility was to pick up the mushy plums (earning a penny each) that had fallen already and were better suited for the compost (or our dog we found out and put a stop to that). People are generally happy to help when you express that you can't do it all on your own. Give them the opportunity to show their skills and ingenuity.
4. Share the wealth - we did the big plum cull last night. Prior to that, I was the ultimate Plum Pusher. Friends, co-workers, etc... if I knew you, likely I asked how many lbs I could deliver to your house. (for the record, our team at work has never been more regular). We had major plum abundance and this morning, I took them to the New Life Mission to share with some of our community members who were so grateful. So sharing in the abundance was not only a joy for me, but was a real blessing to countless others.
So embrace the abundance and keep a positive attitude. I'll keep you posted after I deal with the Apricot Abundance which is already upon me!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Church and the LGBTQ Community

I've been thinking about the controversy around same sex marriage approval in the USA. I'm a bit puzzled about why my Canadian friends are so upset. In some cases, same sex marriage has been legal in Canada for 8 or 9 years so it's not like this is some sudden infringement on our rights, freedoms and privileges.
When I think about Jesus and who he engaged with and how He did it, I think I see a path that we need to follow as the church in responding to the LGBTQ community. The most common accusation against Jesus was about who He spent his time with. If you are even a casual student of the scriptures, you'll know that Jesus spent considerable time with 'sinners, drunkards, tax collectors and prostitutes.' The Pharisees (the religious right of the day) hated him for it.
Some of the conversations that Jesus had with these people were recorded. Like the time, he encountered the woman caught in adultery. His response to her, after quietly rescuing her from certain death at the hands of the 'righteous' was 'go and sin no more'. His encounter with the woman at the well (multiple divorces, and at least one common law relationship) was to offer her Living Water after which he told her all about her life and ministered to her deepest needs. He met her where she was, offered her truth that set her free and gave her hope for a better day. I could go on, but the pattern is always the same.
Here's the difficulty with what I hear/see many of my friends posting and reposting. There is no hope, no mercy, no grace, and no love on this issue. There is only fear, outrage, anger and judgement.
To say that God is going to bring His judgement on American/Canada because of this particular issue reflects how messed up we really are. God doesn't need this to judge our nations. He can judge us for anything from the way we have treated First Nations peoples to the way we treated Jews and Sikhs who were seeking to flee persecution in their homeland to the way we treated the Chinese or the Japanese or the way we treated children in Residential Schools. The list is long and we are guilty on all counts.
We need to stop looking to politicians and judges to either save us from or solve our many difficulties and challenges. It might be better for us to weep for our nation and the mess that it is in, not because our law permits same sex marriage but because we, the church have been lax in fulfilling our mission and mandate to serve, love, go and give.
Perhaps once we own our sin and become 2 Chr 7:14 people, our nation will find healing, wholeness and the blessing of God.