Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Ironman of Golf Version 6.0




























The IronMan of Golf!

Version 6.0 

We know that Tim isn't a super hero, but there are times when he does extraordinary things
like the IRONMAN OF GOLF!  1 Day.  1 Man. 100 holes.   

The IronMan of Golf  is our summer fundraiser and helps us meet our annual budget.  Our goal for this summer is to raise $5000 and its important that we reach it!  Our summer ministry travel plans depend on these resources and we need your help to make it happen.

The IronMan of golf works as follows:

1.  Make a pledge.  You can pledge/hole or simply make an event pledge.  
           
           $10/hole is a $1000 pledge.  
           $5/hole is a $500 pledge.  
           $2.50/hole is $250 pledge
           $1.00 hole is $100 pledge
           
           Or you can pledge another amount of your choosing. 

           Click here to make a pledge.

2. Follow Through.  
         You can pay your pledge immediately by credit card, online banking or by cheque. 
         If you prefer to wait until after the event, that's fine with us.  We will contact you after              the event.

3.  Watch Tim's progress on our Leading Influence Facebook Page on June 21.  

God Makes It Grow

Our daughter has recently discovered Ancestry.ca and we are having fun watching her discover and explore our family roots.  My family has farming roots on both sides dating back to the turn of the 20th century.

Remarkably, my great-grandfathers chose to homestead across the road from each other.  In both cases, they cleared and 'broke' the land that eventually continues to produce crops that have sustained and provided for families for generations.

My maternal grandfather spent most of his life on as a farmer. In the years after he retired from farming, he would often become nostalgic about his years on the farm.  I recall him telling me how 'the land smells different in the spring' and that the 'scent of spring' always brought him hope for a good harvest.

On my last trip to Toronto, I watched the city shift from winter (it was snowing when I arrived) to spring (the temp hit 20C) later in the week) and while the 'scent of spring' is certainly different there than what my grandfather referenced, the 'scent of spring' was still in the air.

I've been having a significant shift in my thinking over the past months.  For most of my ministry career, I would view the teachings of Jesus through a grid that said 'Jesus lived in an agrarian culture, but this is what this means today...' More and more, I am coming to conclude that the best way to understand how God works is through an agrarian grid.

(Imagine that... it really is the way Jesus says it is!!)

As I look at our work across the country, here's what I see....

We have faithfully tilled the land that God has given us in BC and today we see tremendous fruit coming out of the relationships we have nurtured on both sides of the House.  We are humbled and thankful for God's mercy and goodness to us.

Our path has been different in AB.  The ground has been harder and the work has been tiring but we are starting to see the earth turn from brown to green with the advent of another spring.  This gives us hope that soon we will see blossoms that will turn to fruit.

Saskatchewan continues to flourish.  We were blessed with a network of relationships when we arrived and by God's grace have been able to build upon them.  With an election comes an entirely new set of opportunities and possibilities. We are excited about what God has in store for us in Saskatchewan.

Ontario is in a different and unique place. In many ways, the ground has never been tilled.  This is both a challenge (as we cast vision, create awareness and lay a foundation) and an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and to build on our successes.  While it's true that the culture is different, it's equally true that leaders still need someone to support, encourage and minister to them. What I find most exciting about Ontario is that there is a clear sense of the need for this in the church and a generally warm reception among those who lead.  While it won't be easy, we have a bright future in Ontario.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Every Place You Set Your Foot

There are dried out maple leaves on the mantle of my office fireplace. I collected them on a prayer walk at Queens Park in October of 2008.  Our ministry board and a few friends came to Ontario to launch Leading Influence Ontario.    After the launch celebration we went to Queens Park and did a prayer walk around the perimeter of the building.  We asked God to give us every place we set our foot believing that He would grant us favour and blessing in Ontario.  We had great faith, hopes and dreams.   The leaves were a memento of our time there.  

Things did not turn out as we had hoped and shortly after we started, we chose to withdraw.  Sometimes things don’t work out like you expect.  The leaves stayed on my mantle as a reminder of where we had been, what we had prayed and where we believed we would go again.  In the meantime, we strengthened BC and launched Alberta and Saskatchewan.


This fall our board formally approved a change in my role giving me the freedom to take on the challenge of launching Ontario.  I booked my first flight for late November, exactly 7 years and 1 month after I gathered those leaves.

I was more than a bit excited as I walked through the front door of Queens Park on Monday morning for my first set of meetings knowing that it was a new day and that rather than being outside praying for open doors, I was inside watching them open.  Over the course of the week , I walked many halls and through many doors and deep in my heart was the constant prayer that God would give me every place I set my foot!

We have great faith for what God has in His heart for Ontario’s leaders.  We are confident that as we reach leaders, we can shape Canada’s largest province one step at a time.  Thanks for praying for us and with us!

Across the Provinces....

We have some exciting changes happening within Leading Influence!  From West to East, here’s what’s happening.

Pastor Jason Goertzen has officially joined our team in BC and will be taking the lead role at the BC Legislature in the 2016.  Jason has been interested in our work for some time and has spent the last half of 2015 job shadowing Tim and building relationships with BC MLAs.  He is being well received and finding great favour.  We are excited about the possibilities as Jason takes on this new opportunity.


Jason is married to Christine and serves a campus pastor with LifeTree Church here in Victoria.

Pastor Murray Coughlan continues to serve as our chaplain in Alberta.  Murray continues to find open doors and a warm reception to his ministry at the Alberta Legislature.  Most of his success has come through cold-calling new MLAs after the election, introducing himself and building relationships.  Murray’s hard work has resulted in the development of a strong network in Alberta.  We are very grateful for Murray’s hard work and willingness to serve in this way. 

When Murray isn’t at work, he enjoys riding his Victory motorcycle in the summer.  In the winter, he thinks warm thoughts and wishes it was summer! 

We have bittersweet news coming out of Saskatchewan.  Barry Berglund has announced that he would like to retire after the upcoming election.  Barry has been a tremendous pioneer for us and has done an exceptional job of establishing the ministry in Regina.  We will miss him.

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Scott Francis will be joining our team in the New Year to take on the role of chaplain at the Saskatchewan Legislature.  Scott has recently completed his doctoral studies in leadership at Gonzaga University and will be a great fit in Regina.  Scott is married to Janelle and they have two children.  He is also an Executive Coach, podcaster (LeaderFM) and volunteer firefighter. 

He’s got a professional picture, but we really think the firefighter picture shows off his movie star good looks! 


Tim’s role in Leading Influence is changing from ministry delivery to ministry development. As part of that new role, he will be launching our work in Ontario at Queens Park, mentoring and coaching our chaplain team across the country and seeking new opportunities to both resource and grow Leading Influence into a strong presence within the leadership community of our nation.  It’s a huge challenge filled with opportunities and possibilities to impact our nation in significant ways. 

Be sure to read: Everywhere Your Place Your Foot Article for more info on Ontario.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Oops... He Showed Up Again!

I'm convinced that Jesus has no time for decorum and protocol.  His entire history underscores that He is the Master of the Unusual, Unconventional and Unexpected!  Don't count on Jesus to play by the rules other than the ones He decides on!  Here's a case in point.... 

A few weeks ago, I attended a Christmas 'Light Up' event.  For the most part, everything was as it always is.  A gracious host, several speakers bringing greetings, 2 choirs and then the big countdown to the moment the lights came on.  

I enjoyed the speeches, even the inclusive one that reminded the children and adults in attendance that 'there are many celebrations' during this time of year. (Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and others).  The message was that we should be respectful of other celebrations.  I don't disagree at all.  The same freedom that gives me the privilege of celebrating Christmas full on, is also freely extended to my Jewish friends who celebrate Hanukkah and those who celebrate Kwanzaa and the many other celebrations that coincide late in the year.  The reminder ended with 'Happy Holidays' and then things got interesting...

It was announced that the choir would sing 'Go Tell It On the Mountain' and that it would be a sing-along number.  My intended subtle smile at the irony of the moment turned into a full blown grin bordering on suppressed belly laugh as I listened to several hundred people led by an amplified choir joyfully singing 'Go Tell It On The Mountain That Jesus Christ is Born!' My favorite was the man several rows in front of me who was full on singing, head back, and arms waving as he sang the verses and chorus never missing a beat!  

I LOVE this stuff!!!

I'm tired of the church fussing about red coffee cups, the never ending stream of 'share' if you believe that 'Jesus is the Reason For the Season' or 'Keep Christ in Christmas' because I have come to the conclusion that Jesus doesn't need our help to take centre stage!  He takes it when He pleases and how He pleases!  He breaks the rules to suit His purposes! 

While we might share the timing with other faiths and groups, this is the season we remember that God became flesh, that God was born of a virgin and that God interrupted regularly scheduled programming for His own special event.  This is a season of miracles and surprises.  Expect Him to surprise you this season!

Have a great Christmas!


Monday, November 30, 2015

Skin in the Game

I might be one of the few people in Canada who was able to watch the Cabinet Swearing In Ceremony and call it work!  The 'changing of the guard' brought with it new faces, fresh ideas and for many Canadians the sense of a a new day in Canadian politics.  My attention was captured when I heard the commentator make reference to the Hon. Jane Philpot's involvement in her local church as both a board member and 'song-leader' and I was reminded, AGAIN... that God always has 'skin in the game'.

Technically, to have 'skin in the game' means to have a money in an investment.  In this instance, I take the expression more literally, in that God always has people strategically placed within the our culture and society.  Consider that of all of the people who ran for office, that the Hon. Judy Philpott, a devout follower of Jesus would not only win her nomination, but also her seat and then be given the very significant and strategic position of Minister of Health for all of Canada.

In 8 years of serving leaders, I've come to the conclusion that despite what we may think, expect and inevitably conclude from an uninformed distance, God always has 'skin in the game'.

I recently spent 3 days at Queens Park in Toronto.  A few days before I arrived, I was encouraged to make contact with a particular member who I was told would be quite helpful to me as I sought to establish our work there.  When given the information, I made some quick and broad assumptions about how this person might receive me.  I was proven wrong in our initial phone call and even more wrong when we met face to face.  During our conversation, the member said, 'We need to make this a spiritual place!'  Once again, I discovered that God had 'skin in the game' in an important and significant spot and needed to repent and recalibrate my thinking and perspective.

At this time of year, we remember the most incredible 'skin in the game' event in history when according to John's gospel, 'the WORD became flesh and dwelled among us.'   Jesus took on humanity and in every way became God's most significant investment.  Nothing says 'I'm committed' more than God becoming flesh!  He came to model, to teach, to live, to die, rise again  and most importantly make a way for us to find forgiveness and eternal life.  You would think that would be then end of  God having 'skin in the game', but God always has 'skin in the game'.

The Bible is filled with the accounts of ordinary men and women who served as 'skin in the game' so that God's purposes and plans could be fulfilled through their lives.  From every walk of life, God called them, empowered them and used them in strategic ways to impact the lives of countless others. He still does!

Being 'skin in the game' isn't so much about knowing all the answers or even understanding all the questions.  It's more about saying yes to God and going with His plans and purposes.  The biggest part of being 'skin in the game' is just showing up, watching and listening and then letting God do the rest through you.  

Have a great Christmas!



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!


WHAT TO PRAY FOR...

THE PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE:
  • 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

ALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT:
  • 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

THOSE DEFEATED, PARTICULARLY INCUMBENTS: 

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.