Friday, December 29, 2006

Some Thoughts For My Penny

I did a double take as I was digging through my change at Starbucks today. After a closer look, I confirmed that I had a 1929 US Penny in my pocket. I learned that it was called a "wheatback" because of the two sheaves of wheat on the one side of the coin. It's in excellent condition for it's age.

I couldn't help but think of all the things my penny has seen since it was minted. It went through the Stock Market crash of 1929, the Great Depression of the 1930's, World War II, the Korean War, the fun of the 50's, Woodstock, the social turbulence of the 1960's and 70's, Vietnam, Watergate, men walking on the moon, the invention of the internet, 78 Christmas Days, etc, etc...

Add to that all of the people whose hands touched it. I wonder how many times it had been used to pay off a debt, buy a treat, buy groceries, gasoline or ice cream or been dropped in an offering plate. If my penny could talk, what stories could it tell of love, laughter, life, death disappointment and delight?

I'm not sure what I'll do with my penny. I'm actually thinking of getting it framed just because I don't want to lose it.

What do you think I should do with it??

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A New and Glorious Morn...

We were singing "O Holy Night" at our Christmas eve service tonight and the power of this one line overwhelmed me....

"Long lay the world, in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt it's worth"

In a day when everyone "adds value" I was reminded that until he appeared, the value of my soul was only theory. No one had put anything on the line for me. No one had gone to bat for me. No one had stood up for me... until HE came and at that moment my soul (and the souls of all humanity) began to feel their tremendous worth. Value is determined entirely by what someone will pay for the product. The owner might think it's priceless but the buyer may say it's only worth $1.99. The owner might think it's not worth very much, but to a collector the final piece of a set is absolutely priceless. When Jesus came to earth as a man to redeem all men, He spoke volumes of the worth that He places on me. People don't always see themselves (or other people) as valuable and worthwhile, but if HE does, that changes everything.

What kind of God puts it all on the line to redeem a creature gone awry? What kind of love moves Him to give His ONLY for the sins of many. After a while the theological, legal, technical aspects of this amazing miracle begin to sap out the wonder of God's amazing grace and work demonstrated to us on this day. The beauty of what happened is sometimes lost in a maze of theological banter, debate and technicalities intended to bring clarity but far too often just muddying the water.

"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn."
Hope springs eternal when you know that God believes in you. I had the strangest thing happen on the way home from China. I took a few minutes just to say "thanks" God for allowing me to go on this trip, when God INTERRUPTED me. He stopped me to say "thanks Tim. I couldn't have done it without you." I realize it sounds incredibly arrogant to say that and it's not verbatim by any means, but what I want to share with you is the very clear sense I got that God was communicating His belief in me and the value He continues to place upon me. That brief interlude with Him sparked hope and confidence in me. There is a new and glorious morn for all of us because Jesus came to earth to live and walk in the flesh. He came bringing hope, forgiveness and the promise of a bright new day. I used to think I understood the "new day", but I've come to see it in a whole new way. Our best "yesterday" pales in comparison to the brightness of the tomorrow that He has prepared for us.

Have an amazing Christmas!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Back in the groove

It's taken the better part of a week, but my head is almost clear of jetlag. I read that the most you can be "lagged" is 12 hours. Anything more than you just subtract the number from 24. What that means is that while we were in China, we were 16 hours AHEAD of home so the difference is only 8 hours. What that means is you are VERY TIRED in the late afternoon and if you succumb to the sweet temptation of sleep you will be VERY AWAKE just after midnight. A 90 minute nap at 6:00 PM isn't what the doctor ordered. The other night I woke up at 1 AM and stayed awake until 5 AM at which point I decided to deliver the kids newspapers. You can only watch the Dukes of Hazard Christmas special so many times...

Needless to say, I pushed through the next day and slept like a log all night.

We are looking forward to a wonderful Christmas and then we are heading off for a few days where I am speaking at a retreat between Christmas and New Years. Once the New Year comes, we will be ramping up the partnership development side of the ministry so that when the Legislature is recalled we will be able to be there and begin to minister in that arena.

If you are interested in partnership, either through a special gift or by supporting the vision monthly or annually, we are now able to take credit cards which is going to make everyone's life a lot easier.

Thanks again for your interest and support. We are looking forward to the future and to what God will do with this.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Not original, but good just the same....

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. Conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups: porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee. When all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said:"If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress.Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups... And then you began eyeing each other's cups.Now consider this: Life is the coffee; the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the quality of Life we live.Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us." God brews the coffee, not the cups..... Enjoy your coffee! "The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything."Live simply.Love generously.Care deeply.Speak kindly.Leave the rest to God.You are the miracle, my friend,Your life either shines a light - or casts a shadow.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

One VERY LONG Day...

International travel is exciting and interesting but it makes for some very LONG days. Check this out...

1. We left China at 8:00 AM on Dec 15th, arrived in Hong Kong 2 hours later.

2. We spent 10 hours shopping in Hong Kong. This was like visiting another planet. 2 hours in Stanley Market and then another 4 hours on Nathan Road left me feeling energized (because the environment is so electric...) and numb because it's like being immersed in a spin cycle. I don't think I could live in Hong Kong, but I'm looking forward to visiting there again.

3. We left HK at 9:00 PM for a 2 hr. flight to Taipei. The day is starting to get long at this point, but it's still manageable. We arrive on time for a 2 hr. layover. The difference between HK airport and Taipei airport is significant. HK is a shopping mall that airplanes leave from. You can literally shop till you drop there. Taipei is a nice airport where everything closes down at around 11:30. I did manage to find some Tolberone before everything closed. Our flight was delayed by 30 minutes, but all in all, not a big deal...

4. We left Taipei for Vancouver at about 12:30 AM. If you're keeping track we're approaching 18 hours in airports at this point. The flight is 10 hours but through the wonder of time zones and the international dateline, we arrive in Vancouver at 5:50 PM for another 3 1/2 hr. layover before our final 45 minute flight to Kamloops. By the time we land at home it's about a 32 hour trip. Small wonder I want to nodd off at inoportune times throughout the day, although I am learning the secret of the "power nap".

Because it was so warm, I left China wearing shorts and sandals. HK was a bit cooler but someone lent me a sweatshirt that I wore the rest of the way home. Stepping off the plane in Kamloops wearing shorts and sandals was a refreshing experience to say the least. I could have changed in Vancouver, but I was just too tired to bother.

Thanks for your interest and support. It's been great to know that you have been praying for us and checking in while we were in China. I'm looking forward to doing a return trip next year.


Friday, December 15, 2006

To the Ends of the Earth

There's an actual place called "the end of the earth". It's a park about 10 minutes from the hotel we were staying at. The Chinese called it that because there is nothing to see but sky and water when you stand there. It's the southernmost point of China and is farther away from Vancouver than Sydney, AUS.

We preached, prayed and prophesied at the end of the earth on this trip. Listen to these words out of Isaiah 43 ....

Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east,
And gather you from the west; I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not keep them back!’ Bring My sons from afar,
And My daughters from the ends of the earth— Everyone who is called by My name,
Whom I have created for My glory;

25,000 people a day commit their lives to Jesus in China. God has not forgotten the people at the ends of the earth, nor did He forget us on this trip. Nor has he forgotten those of you who prayed for us and stood with us. What a privilege for us to be a part of what He is doing in China. This is a great land with a harvest that is ripe and ready to come in.

It's interesting to me that it's the daughters that He calls from the ends of the earth. I can't tell you how many women we prayed for who were "workers in the villages", basically pastors and evangelists who carry the good news of Jesus to people all through this amazing nation. I couldn't help but be moved by their love for Christ and their commitment to preach the gospel at great personal risk.

We are leaving Hong Kong tonight for home! I'll write more when I get there!!


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Did you hear that knock??

There’s nothing quite like the adrenaline rush that comes from an unexpected knock on the door from a man in uniform when you are preaching. While we are thankful that nothing came of it (he was a security guard for the school in the same facility) it still brought the reality of life for the church home to us in a hurry. We were out of the room in about 3 minutes after the knock and there was no further difficulty for the rest of our time here.

I’m told that we are in a part of the country that is more tolerant of the church than other places. This is probably true as believers are unafraid and unashamed to carry their bibles, meet openly, pray in public, etc, etc. We met people who work in prayer centre’s, Bible Colleges and other churches which was something of a surprise to me. I expected a more “covert” form of operation.

One of the couples we met had chosen Abraham and Sarah as their English names. They are a young, vibrant couple who are committed to serving the Lord in ministry. Abraham served as our translator and Sara was our chief cheerleader, coordinator and guide. She doesn’t speak English, but she can make stuff happen. While we were there, we had some “Blue Mountain” coffee. This is apparently the most expensive coffee in the world ($100/lb) in Canada if you can find it. As we raved about the coffee, she told us she could order some beans for us if we would like. Our cost would be about $5/lb. Needless to say we jumped at the chance and within about 20 minutes of her phone call, a delivery man (pedaling a rickshaw I’m sure…) showed up with our coffee. Hallelujah! Amen?? (The expectation is that you will echo your agreement heartily and then applaud with enthusiasm…. At least that’s how they do it in China!)

Last night we were treated to dinner in restaurant owned by a man in the church. They served us frog legs as part of the meal. Frog legs taste just like hot wings. Some of you may find this hard to believe, but I noticed a real spring in my step after dinner and I still feel very “hoppy” today!

This has been such an amazing time. I’ve had the privilege of sharing ministry with Pastor David “Happy Holidays” Pearson from Seattle Church (SC!). I have learned just by watching his life and ministry. He is a man of prayer, compassion and authority. I am challenged by his discipline and focus. I’ve heard him speak to his wife (Sue) and children Heather and Joel. He is an incredible husband and father. The incredible breakthrough that we experienced here came largely because of his discernment and leadership. He was like the plow that broke that ground. I was able to follow and exhort the people, but it was all because of his willingness to address spiritual strongholds within the church and city.

We have other team members who have played critical parts in making this entire trip a success. Evelyn Picklyck (Founder and President of Humanitarian Hope) arranged all of the details for us so that all we had to do was show up and minister. Evelyn is starting a blog that you can check out at If you are interested in joining her on a trip, you can find information on where she is going on her website at .

Tom Laroche and Jackie Smith were with us as well. They each taught capably and powerfully. Their prayer ministry was very effective and a real benefit to the church here.

Lorne Sieb is the 6th member of the team. While he wasn’t involved publicly, Lorne has been a very present member of the team providing comic relief, taking all of the pictures and video you will see of the trip. He loves to wander off down alleys and “discover” how the locals live. He thinks nothing of renting a rickshaw and heading off on an adventure. He overcomes the language barrier through his smile, willingness to try to speak the language and general “likeability”. A classic “Lorne moment” happened last night when he came into our room offering us dried squid and fresh garlic as a bedtime snack.

That’s all for now. We got an early start this morning and it looks like the next stop on our journey is “NA PING” a place where you can catch a few zzz’s before you go to “SHA PING”.

We are all looking forward to a few days of R&R before we head home. That way we aren’t grumpy when we get back!

Talk to you later!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Other Things You Don't See Everyday...

When we got to the meeting tonight we stepped off the elevator only to meet a rat (yup, you read it right...) a black one with a long tail ... waiting to take it down. We jumped off (literally) and he ran onto the elevator. Apparently he was on his way to meet his cousin the bat that was swooping around in the foyer of the building we were meeting in. I've been in ministry for a long time and have met some "rats" along the way, but none of them ever had a tail.

Everybody still up for a trip over here??

The upside is we found a pizza joint here. It was fabulous to eat something familiar!

We had a great time together tonight. We took care of business by doing some spiritual house-keeping. Let's just say that our friends here have a bright future and their coach knows he is well supported by those around him. Tomorrow is going to be great!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Things you don't see everyday

To mark my 101st post, here's something a little different for you...

Things I've seen today...
1. One large dead rat...

2. Walk up dental clinics, right beside welding shops and next door to tea houses.

3. Instead of "one way" streets, there are every way streets. You can go whatever direction you want, create what ever lane you want and go as fast as you want.

4. Honking and flashing headlights here mean - "Look out, I'm coming your way." One beep means I'm passing on the right. Two beeps means I'm passing on the left. Or is it the other way around??

5. You can get a haircut for about 90 cents. You have to pay based on how much they cut off. A wash, cut and style is about $3. Not sure how much dentists charge... Don't want to know.

6. There are crosswalks complete with people who blow whistles and point flags if you try to cross against the lights. The locals move 10 feet from the crosswalk and proceed at will.

7. The "walk in clinic" thrives here. There must be about 10 within a 4 block radius. It could be that there is a connection between pedestrians crossing will and the number of clinics.

8. When crossing the street, just walk out into traffic, they will drive around you. Never change speed or run suddenly, you'll get hit...

9. We met a guy in the elevator with 2 10 gallon cans of gasoline... (I am NOT making this up!!)

10. There's an animated Santa playing the sax down in the hotel lobby. He's not bad actually!

Things I wish I'd seen in the past 24 hours....
1. Starbucks... We've been to a couple of different places for coffee. The names are interesting... "Scripture Coffee", UBC Coffeehouse, EverLove Coffee

2. You can't buy deodorant here. Apparently the "musky" smell that comes from going without in a subtropical climate is very sexy... Someone "borrowed" the fresh stick I bought before I came. Fortunately, I had a travel one as well.

3. An English language anything... I'm looking at the daily paper that is delivered to our room for free. I'm not sure why they bother.

4. A waitress that could speak english. Coffee in Chinese is "caffay". When we ask for "coffee" we get a blank look. We've only been here for 36 hours and to the same place 5 times so you'd think someone would begin to get it.

5. A Canadian Flag...

6. Most of all .... Barb, Britt, Zack, Tyler and Zoe.

That's all for now! Wish you were here!

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Church In The Raw...

I can't get the thought out of my mind that I have come as close as I have ever come to seeing the church in it's most raw form. There is no sophistication here at all. It is simple and basic, but it is powerful and passionate. I watched people spend the afternoon and evening in church for 3 days straight. They worshiped without a sound system or a band. At one session they had no instruments at all and worshipped with enthusiasm and passion for 45 minutes. The rest of the time they had an out of tune guitar, but no one noticed!

There have been some significant surprises. It is not illegal to meet, own a bible or even pray in public. There are some things that you can't do, like promote your group, have public meetings and that sort of thing, but it's not like the police are breaking down the door on a regular basis.

Along that line, I learned something very interesting. The Chinese value "face". When the church gives "face" to the police, they do not harass them. "Face" means not flaunting what you are doing. The police in turn look the other way provided you do not provoke them to a response. They provide "face" to the church by allowing her to go about her activities unharassed. It's almost a "don't ask, don't tell." kind of thing.

I can't help but be overwhelmed at what I have seen and expect to seeover the next few days. If there was a way to instill this kind of focus and passion into the NA church, we might really see the national move of God that we all long to see.

Getting late here...


Day Four or is it Five ????

We completed our visit with our friends in our first city last night. What an incredible time yesterday as we had 4 visits with each member of our team sharing something with the group. Everyone did a great job and our Dad visited us again last night. There is a great future for the family in this region of the world and we are very confident that our Father will use our friends here to add even more members as time goes on. We are thrilled that we have had a part in encouraging and equipping them for this great task.

After checking out of our hotel this morning (a 5o minute process...) we got into 3 taxis and headed off to the bus station. It was interesting to see the country as it has probably been for hundreds of years. This is truly a beautiful place. Our trip took us about 3 hours and passed very quickly in our air conditioned luxury coach. The martial arts video with subtitles was entertaining, even though the acting and the stunts were brutal...

We met the club leader this evening and we know that the next few days here will be very rewarding for everyone here and us as well. We will be meeting with some friends from North America tomorrow morning and we are looking forward to our time with them.

We are looking forward to Sunday here ... even though it's only Saturday there!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Day Three ....

Sometimes you've just got to sit back and say Wow! We had two (but actually 4 visits) with our friends today. We started our visit at 3 and ended after 11, but we had a great time together. At the end of the evening, our Father paid us a visit. It was so exciting that some people were falling down and everyone was very happy.

We are going to visit some some small children today and share the gifts that we brought for them. They live together in a large home and will appreciate what we have for them.

I'm going down for breakfast now and will try to write more later today. We are all doing well and having a great time here.

Talk to you later!!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Day Two

The one thing you can count on when on a trip like this is that you can't count on anything to happen the way it is supposed to. Thus the need to go with the flow and play it by ear. Yesterday was one of those days. What was supposed to be a conference for leaders is primarily a "club" conference only. That means that only 1 of the 3 sessions I had planned for will work the way I had envisioned. This could be a matter of stress for me except that my DAD knew that it would be this way when I got here so He already has another plan in place.

So... rather than being stressed out about this, I chose to enjoy breakfast on the patio with my traveling companions and then opted for a walk on the beach. (The temp. here is 28, the sun is shining and the ocean is warmer than the resort pool....)

I am happy to tell you that I am confident that the same person who drew the boundaries for the oceans, has no problem providing me with the necessary material for 2 visits today and another one tomorrow, so I am going to talk with him for a while and find out what he would like me to say. He will enjoy the fact that I can only rely on him right now. When you are talking with him, mention my name to him.

Yesterday was very interesting. My friends here are very warm and open people. Because we are visiting them from a long way away, they are making many sacrifices to be with us. It is an honour to be with them knowing how much this means to them. We are enjoying being with them and enjoying their beautiful city.

I will write again tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Day One

Arrived last night - after 18 hours of flying and another 18 of waiting. We were tired and weary to say the least, but after a good sleep we had breakfast together. I'll try to send you pictures later. Let's just say we paid the extra for the Western breakfast rather than risking our lives on the national options...

1/2 our team is visiting with our friends this afternoon. The other half (my half..) will visit with them this evening. We are all excited about the opportunity to finally be together. I did walk in the ocean for a few minutes this morning, just to say I did. Nothing quite like feeling the sand washing away under your feet as the waves return to the sea.

Internet is "spotty" here - sometimes on, sometimes not... I'll try to keep you as posted as I can.

More later!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Bags are packed...

Hey everybody - I'm in the passenger lounge at the airport. Wanted to say a brief goodbye and a "pray for us" while we're gone. This is going to be exciting, stretching and a huge adventure all at the same time! Specifically, pray that we will be protected and preserved at every turn. We obviously need the Lord to help us in many ways.

We are excited about the possiblities and the opportunities. Pray Ps. 91 and Is. 61 and all will be in.

Leave a note!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's Time!!

The big day finally arrived and I "officially" finished my full time employment with iCompass Technologies today. It's been a very good year. I have learned a lot and have come to appreciate many things about life that I had come to take for granted.

After a two week missions trip, I will be ramping up the ministry full time effective January 1 and am looking forward to adding to the traction to we already have.

I heard a song at Harvest City Church a few weeks ago that captured my attention and I want to share it with you today. It's called "It's Time" and speaks about what burns in my heart for our magnificent nation. It's time for Canada to see the great revival that people have been talking about for years. It's time for a revival to sweep our land that will transform every part of our culture and draw men and women, young people and children to the hope of Jesus and the power of the gospel to renew every part of their lives.

Here it is... you'll actually have to click the Media Player button to hear it, but it's very worth it, especially if you close your eyes and see it happen as it plays!!

Looking forward to hearing from you...

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Device to Root Out Evil...

For those of you who have wondered as to my artistic insight, this is my first (and probably last ...) foray as an art critic... leave your comments at the end!
I'm in Vancouver today attending the Faith Political Interface conference.I'll tell you more about that later, but I wanted to tell you what I saw today when I stepped out for a break. It's called "A Device to Root Out Evil". If you live in Vancouver, you probably know where it is (W Cordova and Butte in Waterfront Park...)

This statue is controversial but in the light of the conference I'm attending, I found it absolutely inspiring. The artist is making some obvious statements about how he sees the church and it's role in the world.
The beauty of art is that it can be interpreted in a number of ways.... If steeples point us to heaven to remind us of our hope in God and in the strength and power He provides, the inverted church, with the steeple being rooted into the ground reminds me of the amazing impact that the church can have in uprooting injustice and dispelling darkness. The only way to rid a garden of weeds is to pull them out by the root and that requires getting on your knees and putting your hands to work. When I stood beside the sculpture, I couldn't help but think of a plow being plunged into the ground to prepare the land for seed. The bible speaks of breaking up our fallow ground because it is time to seek the Lord.
The sculptor (Oppenheim) says that he simply inverted the object to catch the attention of people and that the inverted steeple points us to hell instead of heaven. The words of Jesus "I will build my church" and the gates of hell will not prevail against it" ring particularly true. Perhaps this sculpture is nothing more than a sign pointing to the reality that because of the cross, even a mocking statue points to our overwhelming victory over EVERYTHING that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ.
So - what do you think??

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Canada's Prophetic Destiny

I'm hearing God speak to me about Canada's prophetic destiny. When I googled that term to see what other people were saying, I didn't find much beyond the standard, God is going to send a revival, etc, etc. I don't disagree with any of that, but I was looking for something more unique, because I believe that God has a destiny for our nation that is powerful, especially at this point in history.

When Canada became a nation, she was given the name "The Dominion of Canada". The choice of terminology comes from Ps. 72:8 "And he shall have dominion from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth." Sir Leonard Tilley, one of the Fathers of Confederation, read that verse on the last morning on the final conference of Confederation and suggested that Canada be called a dominion. His peers agreed and the recomendation was sent forward to the Queen for her approval. On July 1st, 1867, Queen Victoria proclaimed "The Dominion of Canada" into existence. There's got to be something tremendously significant between this verse, that prophetically describes the kingdom and rule of Christ and the destiny of our great nation.

As I pondered this, I was reminded of a verse out of Is. 58 that speaks of being repairers of broken walls and restorers of streets to dwell in and suddenly some things came together that I want to share with you. Our nation has a unique international role of being a repairer and restorer. Our international military involvement has been limited to liberation and restoration. We have never gone to war as an act of aggression. As I dug deeper into Is. 58, I began to see some other things that are part of our prophetic destiny as well.

Is. 58:6a - "to loose the bonds of wickedness" - which speaks of our commitment to justice
Is. 58:6b - "to undo the heavy burdens: - which speaks of mercy
Is. 586c - "to let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke" which speaks of deliverance

Is. 58:7 - "to share your bread with the hungry" - generosity and compassion
Is. 58:7b - "to bring to your house the poor who are cast out" - hospitality
Is. 58:7c - "when you see the naked, to cover him" - kindness

Canada does all of these things with excellence all around the world. As I write this, Canadian troops are putting their lives on the line to fulfill Is. 58:6 in Afghanastan. It's hard and dangerous work but it's work that they are doing with excellence and true Canadian passion.

Our international track record in sharing our bread with the hungry, opening our doors to the poor and clothing the naked is stellar. NO ONE ELSE can do what we do the way we do it. Our role in the world is to rebuild and restore hope, dignity, security and peace.

This unique role is something that only we can do. Others have a part of it, but our international image is that of peacemaker, restorer, provider and rebuilder. The result of walking in this path appears in Is. 58:8. God promises that:

1) Our light will break forth like the dawn. This speaks to me of increased favor and stature internationally that surpasses what we already have. I've read words about a coming economic transformation that will propel us to an entire new level and may actually liberate us from the economic "dependency" that we have on the US economy.

2) Our healing will quickly appear. After nearly 140 years of confederation, we are still divided. This is evidenced by the BQ motion in Ottawa that Quebec be recognized as a nation and the Government motion that Quebec be recognized as a nation within Canada. Perhaps the blessing of God to our nation will be a satisfaction of this and other issues and we will truly be able to put regional and territorial issues aside and enjoy the greatness of our amazing nation.

3) Our righteousness will go before us . Righteousness exalts a nation. While on the one hand, we have issues at home that need a prophetic presence and voice, as we continue to move towards righteousness out of relationship rather than legislation (could be a "word" there....) God will undoubtedly bless us in great measure and continue to place his favour upon us!

4) And the glory of God will be our rear guard. Perhaps this is where the great revival and outpouring that we hear so much about comes into play. I don't want to prophesy revival just because everyone else does, nor do I want to I say it isn't coming. I will say that fullfilling our prophetic destiny is connected to a national outpouring of the presence and glory of God and that if we fail to fulfill the prophetic destiny (nationally and internationally) that God has established for us, we won't experience what many are prophesying will happen.

The church's role in this is critical. While we must pray and fast, we must also take up the role of servant leadership within our nation at every level. Because the church is designed to be a leadership culture, we are the greatest national resource in this area, but it comes down to what we believe about ourselves. Until we embrace the role of King and Priest in our nation, we will always be just the tail and never the head. It's time... to step up, step out and step into the fullness of what God has for us as the Church in our land! His DOMINION SHALL BE from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!!

Boarder Babe

Two quick posts today - the first is to tell you about opening day at Sun Peaks. I got a new board so was working out some adjustments, but it's going to be great once there's some more snow on the hill. The boys were fine and got back into things really quickly. Barb was totally amazing! She was carving better than she did all of last year. I spent far more time on the snow than she did.

Today, she's complaining about being stiff and sore and asking how I'm feeling. I keep telling her I feel like a young man and everything is fine. Truth be told, my abs are killing me and my legs are stiff, but I'll keep letting her think that it's only her.

My punnishment for this little prank is that laughing hurts ...

Friday, November 17, 2006

Midlife Moments

As hard as it is for me to believe, I arrived at age 44 today. There's great excitement in our house over this auspicious event, but I'm content to pretend it isn't happening. Here are some "mid-40" thoughts....

1. I used to think people who were 44 were old and should be called "Mister".

2. When my father was 44, I was in my 3rd year of college. My oldest is 13 and in gr. 8.

3. I tried on my birthday gift today and it was "snugger" than I would prefer. Barb said, "it's just a smaller cut honey..." I think it's just a sign of the times!

4. If you keep swimming when you jump off the bridge, you don't drown! Between God's faithfulness and your willingness, bobbing to the top is easier than you might think.

5. Listening is more comfortable than it used to be. I've actually had people on the phone ask me if I'm still there...

6. Respect comes easier if you keep your head down and your mouth shut...

7. Living "Like you were dying" is more fun than "living as though you were dead."

8. Friends matter more because of what you've been through together.

9. I am more in love with Barb than ever before. I am SO BLESSED!

10. I am not perfect! It's been a shock to come to this revelation, but true nonetheless.

11. Brittany can be right and I can be wrong.... (That hurts to admit, but it periodically happens!)

12. God is ALWAYS faithful!! This has been a stretching and challenging year, but one that I will hold as a trophy of God's grace and goodness to me!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


We've had quite an exciting time in our lives over the past week or so... God has been incredibly good to us AGAIN!! Here's the latest!

I had the unique experience of being awakened in the night last week and hearing God ask me to "speak to my deals". I tried to put this off but there was no way I was going back to sleep until I did what He asked. These deals are important because they are going to "pay the bills" for a few months in the new year so it's important that they come through for me and my employer. The next day, I spoke with a customer who said "no" in spring but wanted to know if the same pricing would apply if they did a deal with us now. Within an hour, a second customer told me they would be ready to proceed with a deal by early next week. Total value is over 30K!! MONEY COMETH!! :-) I think this is the coolest thing! God is AWESOME!!

I had the privilege of preaching in our home church on Sunday morning. Our pastor pumped this for two weeks and gave me the kindest introduction to compliment the tremendous opportunity of preaching on a Sunday morning. The people were amazing and very responsive. A good number responded indicating that they were interested in becoming partners which is pretty cool too.

All in all, God is VERY GOOD!! But you already knew that!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Bill Clinton

I went to hear Bill Clinton on Friday night. He's a great speaker who shared with humility, transparency and passion about his work with AIDS, Global Warming, Economic Development and Disaster Relief. He shared a number of fascinating stories, but I wanted to pass this one on to you because it really rang true within me.

He told about when Ariel Sharon went up on the Temple Mount several years ago with a group of Israeli policemen. This was the first time in years that a Jewish PM had been there because of the political and religious tensions. Yasser Arafat who was the leader of the PLO at that time saw the incident as a provocation (which it was) and launched another violent uprising on the West Bank. Clinton invited Arafat to a meeting a pleaded with him to meet Sharon's actions with peace rather than violence. His suggestion was to meet Sharon on the Temple mount along with a little girl and some flowers for the Israeli PM and offer to give him a tour of the sites there. He pointed out that Arafat was allowing Sharon to determine his actions and responses and that in the end, Sharon was manipulating Arafat to make him do what he wanted him to do.

He contrasted that story with Nelson Mandella who was imprisoned for 14 years for his resistance against the government. He talked about the personal cost to Mandella and how he missed seeing his kids grow up, lost his wife and years of "family" time, not to mention his freedom. Clinton asked Mandella if he hated his oppressors and jailers. Mandella said he did for a while, but came to the conclusion that while his jailers could lock him up, separate him, torture and potentially kill him, they were powerless to take his heart and mind unless Mandella let them. Mandella realized that even as he was being released hatred and unforgiveness would keep him a prisoner if he wouldn't let it go and so he did. He went so far as to invite his jailers to sit in his cabinet when he was president of South Africa.

Hatred and resentment make you small and keep you small. Forgiveness and grace make you a bigger person... and a better person. No wonder Jesus said, forgive those who hurt you. It's not always easy, but it makes for a much better life, for you and those around you.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Taking the Plunge...

After a year of thinking, praying, planning and preparing, I took the plunge this morning by communicating my intent to leave to my employer. iCompass has been a blessing and I have learned a lot while working here, but "it's time for the dream to come to pass". So, effective Nov 3o, I will conclude my full time employment here. I am off to speak at a pastor's conference overseas (details later) in early December and then I'll continue to book speaking engagements and move towards full time engagement in the ministry as soon as possible.

This is yet one more step in a journey of faith. We keep telling ourselves that the wind and waves don't matter as much as walking towards Jesus, but the spray hitting your face is a little un-nerving even if your feet aren't sinking into the water. I find myself singing "Jehovah Jireh, my provider..." a lot lately. Maybe it's declaration, maybe it's affirmation, maybe it's celebration. Whatever the case, it feels good to sing it and to know that it's true!!

Love to hear from you on this one!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Take off your masks...

I stopped at 7-11 the other day and there was a sign on the front door requiring customers to take off their masks while in the store. It's obviously a crime prevention issue, (notice I'm not saying WHICH 7-11 in which town, but if you live in Kamloops, you can use your imagination as to which one it is...)

I've been thinking about the message though. What if we put signs up at church saying "Masks are not allowed inside the church" or if we put them on homes "masks are not allowed within relationships" or if what if we put them at the entrance to our towns and cities... remove masks while in Kamloops, Vancouver, New York, etc... (notice the subtle but obvious connection of Kamloops to world class cities...)

Since the days of Adam in the garden of Eden we have been covering ourselves to hide what we didn't want people to see. Hiding has made our lives and relationships more complicated and painful. Hiding puts distance between us and those around us and most importantly, us and God. As an experienced (and former) "hider", I can tell you that hiding is a short term solution to a long term issue. The craziest thing of all is that those closest to you KNOW that you are hiding or at the very least suspect that you are because in most cases they are doing the same.

There are two obvious solutions to this scenario. On the one hand, we can continue hiding, because after all everyone else is doing it... OR we can come out of the darkness into the light. Coming into the light seems kind of scary. Someone very close to me described it as the fear of being hated for what you really are. And yet, I can tell you that LOVE covers a multitude of sins and coming out from hiding was the best thing I ever did.

There's something very liberating about not living in the shadows "hoping" that your secret remains a secret. Embracing grace and freely admitting that you aren't all things takes a huge weight off your shoulders and allows you to be real in a very real way. Admitting you have "clay feet" takes a ton of pressure off you.

Try it ... you'll like it...


Friday, October 27, 2006

Walking By Faith

I heard something a few years ago that came back to me like a bolt of lightning today. Walking by faith isn't a matter of waiting for God to go first but a matter of us stepping towards what God is calling us to do, even if all the "i's" aren't dotted and all the "t's" are yet to be crossed.

God ALWAYS responds to faith. This has been a huge learning curve in my life and one for which I am extremely thankful. The biblical examples of God responding enormously to the smallest acts of faith never cease to amaze me. Whether it's Moses extending his sheperd's staff, a boy offering his loaves and fishes or people walking around a city and one day shouting at the walls and watching them fall over, the result is still the same. We do our "little" part and GOD does His very BIG part!!

Week by week, we see God responding to our acts of faith-filled obedience and it's overwhelming and exhilarating all at the same time. As partners continue to join us on the journey we know that God will respond to their simple act of faith with enormous results as well.

When we "jump off the bridge" to obey the call of God on our lives, there's no need for a bungy cord or a safety net. To say "unless God provides" is an oxymoron of the greatest kind. God ALWAYS provides and makes a way when we are walking with Him

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Can you hear me now??

I've got some fun stuff I want to share with you later, but just wanted you to know that I've added an audio feature to the website. I've uploaded the message I preached at Harvest City Church (thanks for your help, Eddie...) and you'll find it at Find the Audio Page and go from there.

Thanks for checking in!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Week in Review

What a full, exciting and blessed week!! Since I've last posted, I've been to Victoria for several meetings that were interesting and exciting at the same time. On Thursday night, Barb and I met with a group of intercessors from Victoria who pray for the city, government, etc. It was exciting to meet with them and they were very kind to spend an evening with us. We were able to share the vision, discuss the direction in which we were going and pray together. Thanks to Bill, Susan, Donna and Rina for putting the evening together and hosting us. It was a great night.

On Friday we met with a group of friends from Colwood Church who feel more like family. Even though we've been gone for 12 years, we have been blessed to build friendships with quality people who love and believe in us. What a blessing to have Pastor Funk lay his hands on us and bless us and the ministry in that context. It's priceless to have his blessing on what we are doing.

On Saturday we went to the Lions game in Vancouver. We have a friend who is a waterboy for the Lions and were able to get down to field level after the game. Once everyone had cleared out, the boys were able to catch a few footballs on the field and have some fun. (More about that in another post...)

On Sunday, I was blessed to preach at Harvest City Church with Pastor George and Joyce Johnson. It was an incredible time and I was so blessed to be with amazing people, in an amazing church. I'm trying to load the message on the website, but having some troubles because it doesn't handle "mp3" files. In the meantime, you can hear it on and pick it up off their website. I spoke on the "Dynamics of Influence".

The church graciously blessed us with an offering that morning which will help us establish the ministry. I'm very grateful for the hospitality and generosity of the church.

Today, Barb marks the big "40" Sadly... I'm out of town, but we will celebrate when I get home. I am so proud of her and absolutely love EVERYTHING about her. Apart from putting up with me, she is an incredible woman and an excellent example of a life well lived!! Here's to 60 more years!! (I thought about saying 40, but we might want to live longer than 80...)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Training and Reigning

I don't often watch TV in the morning, but I'm on a road trip and had it on while I got ready for the day. I was watching a Christian Talk Show and the guest was talking about young Josiah. Josiah was one of the kings that God used to bring about revival. What makes him unique is that he assumed the throne when he was 8 and over the span of about 20 years God progressively moved him towards the ability and authority to reign with righteousness.

In the natural, Josiah shouldn't have had a chance... His father and grandfather were both incredibly corrupt and except that God had spoken that he would turn his nation towards Him 300 years before it happened, it's not likely that he would have been much different.

But God had a plan to grow Josiah and so He positioned godly people around him who mentored him towards right choices so that when he was in his late teens he could lead appropriately. The point the guest was making was that Josiah had to learn to reign over the things around him before he could reign over a nation. The same is true with us. Until we are able to reign over our own lives, we won't be great leaders in the world around us.

I'm a great believer in destiny, but until we lead ourselves, our homes and churches well, it's not likely that God is going to give us a whole lot to do outside of that realm.

So... today's message ... train to reign in your own life and watch what God will do with you in the broader circumstances of your life...

Love ya!!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

How well do you fit?

Kind of a strange title, but it comes out of a comment I heard this week. What the guy was saying was "If you fit in this world, your DNA is too small." The point he was making was that when we live according to God's plan for our lives, we live larger than we do when we live outside of that plan.

It's given me a lot to think about over the last few days. The world is corrupt, distorted and "less" than what God created it to be. When we fit within it, it speaks to the size of our spiritual DNA. I'm not suggesting that not fitting needs to be apparent on the outside and that we adopt 80's hair/clothing styles just so that it's apparent that we don't really belong. I think it's more about recognizing that those of us with a renewed spiritual DNA won't find what we are looking for on this planet.

As I write this, I'm hearing U2's "Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" in my mind. It could be an anthem for the spiritually renewed, knowing that what we are looking for is found in another kingdom that is both now and "not yet".

Our DNA wires us for service, sacrifice, abundance and purpose that goes beyond normal living and propels us into a dynamic realm where God is both present and powerfully active. That's the place where miracles happen and the supernatural becomes natural.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

What Equals 100%?

From a strictly Mathematical Viewpoint: What Equals 100%?

What does it mean to give MORE than 100%? Ever wonder about those people who say they are giving more than 100%? We have all been in situations where someone wants you to give over 100%. How about achieving 101%? What equals 100% in life?

Here's a little mathematical formula that might help you answer these questions:


Is represented as:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 1 9 20 21 22 23 24 25 26.

Then: H-A-R-D-W-O-R- K
8+1+18+4+23+15+18+11 = 98%

and K-N-O-W-L-E-D-G-E
11+14+15+23+12+5+4+7+5 = 96%

But, A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E
1+20+20+9+20+21+4+5 = 100%

AND, look how far the love of God will take you
L- O- V- E-O-F-G-O-D
12+15+22+5+15+6+7+15+4 = 101%

Therefore, one can conclude with mathematical certainty that:
While Hard work and Knowledge will get you close, and Attitude will get you there,
it's the Love of God that will put you over the top!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Friends, Faith and the Future

This week marks a year since I left the church we had served for 11 years and moved on to a new adventure. It was a scary time, marked with more than a few "sleep diminished" nights, but it remains the right thing to have done. Through those intial first months when things were pretty scary, there were friends and family who reached out and supported us emotionally and spiritually while we walked through a valley that was deeper than we thought it might have been but we made it because they prayed for us and with us, lifted our hands and at times pulled us through into a "good and spacious land". We aren't yet where we want to be, but we are a long ways from where we used to be. They reached out because they love us and believe in us. I've got to say that in some cases I was surprised at the depth of concern and where it came from. Some people whose lives I felt I had touched only in passing, continue to cheer us on in this new journey. One in particular sends me "emails from heaven"... it's always a treat to hear from her...

Some thought we were crazy a year ago. Then again, people thought Abraham, David, Moses and multiple others were crazy too. I'm convinced that you can't reach the fullness of what God has for you by constantly playing it safe. Irrational action when God is in it makes perfect sense. That's not to say that irrational action is always God driven, but throwing something out because "it doesn't make sense" ensures that God doesn't have a chance to do anything in our lives.

So... here's to a life of faith and knowing God's faithfulness at every level knowing that God is Good ALL THE TIME!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Defence of Religions Act

As a "B-Plan" in the event that the federal government's intended review of the same sex marriage legislation fails, there are measures being prepared to protect pastors and churches from law suits if they refuse to marry same sex couples. The "Defence of Religions Act" is seen as a response to what many have come to see as an over-aggressive gay agenda that lables anyone who speaks against homosexuality or same-sex marriage as "homophobic".

I'm hopeful that this step will provide the church and it's leaders the freedom to say "no" without fear of legal action. While not everyone will agree with me on this, it's no secret that morality cannot be legislated. Morality comes out of our personal decision to yield our will to a greater moral authority. The choice to yield cannot be forced upon anyone who knows their own mind and is determined to follow it. (If you're not sure that you agree, ask some parents who have teenagers at home...)

While I certainly don't agree with same sex marriage on a personal level, it may be that the "Defense of Religions Act" is the best option for our nation, if for no other reason than it will avoid an enormous social and political backlash.

The great irony in this discussion (which was on the front page of today's (Oct 4, 2006) Globe and Mail) is that constitutional experts are already saying that the act itself would violate the constitution and that protection provisions already exist.

If the current federal government fails in it's effort to reverse same sex marriage legislation (and it's a virtual certainty that it will...) my hope is that this proposed Act would quickly and easily pass. If not the election posturing would be fascinating to say the least ...

By the way - I've changed the comment requirement and you no longer have to login to post yours so ... fire away on this, I'd be very interested in what you have to say!

Monday, October 02, 2006

School Shootings

I groaned out loud when I saw the news of the shooting at the Amish school. I'm not sure why this particular shooting is as bothersome to me as it is. Maybe it's the fact that this is at least 3 in a row over a relatively short period of time. Maybe it's because I have a daughter and in the last 3 shootings, it's been young women who have been victimized. Or maybe it's because this seems to be more than an attack on just children and females.

The Amish by choice lead a very simple and intentionally separate life. They have conciously chosen to look and live differently than the rest of the world. The "one-room schoolhouse" where the shooting occurred is an expression of there chosen lifestyle. The irony is that their choice to educate their children in that context as a means of protecting them from the world, really put them at greater risk, because there was no where to hide when the shooter entered the room.

I hate the fact that violence penetrates the world of the innocents so often and with such impunity. I hate the fact that people who are powerless are far too often the chosen targets of people who are choosing to make their own twisted and dark statements with guns and bombs. I hate the fact that "the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy" as often as he does. It makes me angry that there are parents with empty spaces in their homes tonight that weren't there this morning just because one man's inner world collapsed because of the work of the thief. It makes me angry that there is a widow who had nothing to do with her husbands actions but now faces her own valley of sorrows as she tries to cope with her own loss and the horrific actions of her husband.

I'm tempted to write about hope, redemption and sovereignty, but instead tonight, I just want to pray for those whose hearts are broken and whose lives are shattered.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

There's Bears in them there hills...

It's been an interesting few days around here. We have a green belt a block from our house where we take our dog for a walk. It's also the place where bears pass through on their way to wherever it is bears go...

Yesterday, Britt and the boys took the dog for a walk through the park. Tyler climbed up the hill to a rope swing that they like to play on. Zack was at the bottom of the hill with a friend when they noticed two bears (a mom and a cub) sitting on the branch right above where the rope swing is attached to the tree. Thankfully, no one panicked and the bears weren't overly interested in a mid-morning snack, even though Tyler said that the "big one was watching me with his mouth open..." Truthfully, the boy has multiple guardian angels as one would hardly be enough.

Today, Britt was walking down the trail to meet a friend when she and the dog encountered another one. Not a lot of details on this, other than she walked around a corner and a bear was there looking back at her. Apparently Zoe (the dog) just stopped, took one look at the bear, tucked her tail between her legs and did a quick retreat back up the path. About the only people that she barks at are our neighbor and me when I come in late.

I enjoyed a great morning at Clearwater New Life Assembly today with Pastor Dan and Joan Daase. God is doing some great things in their church and they graciously had me there for the morning. God was present in so many ways and I was very blessed for being there. In keeping with the bear theme, I saw one cross the highway on the way home from Clearwater.

Someone once told me that hitting a bear with your car would be like hitting a pig. Not sure if it's true, but I'm glad I didn't have to find out...

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Ordinary and Extraordinary

I was preaching about Moses and the burning bush this weekend and had an "aha" moment that I wanted to share with you. Most of you who read this are familiar enough with the story that I don't have to go over the whole thing with you, but I want you to think about something. From the moment that God started talking to Moses all He did was make promises and declarations. "I have, I AM, I will.. Etc, etc.." From the time that Moses started talking to God, all he did was make excuses. He kept telling God all the reasons why he couldn't do what God was asking him to do. I started thinking about this and then the realization of what I was pondering hit me...
"Our excuses keep us ordinary."

A recurring theme in the bible appears when God invites people to participate with Him in something significant and supernatural and they give him a list of excuses as to why they can't follow through. Gideon was too small, Jeremiah was too young, Moses couldn't talk and the list goes on and on... It was only after they came to the end of their excuses that they were able to participate in the divine adventure that God had for them.

And so I concluded that "my excuses keep me ordinary". If God is calling me to do and be something bigger than what I am, it must only be because He SEES that I can do it and that He's already made provision for me to see it happen in and through my own life.

If my excuses keep me ordinary, it must also stand to reason that saying "yes" to what God has for me moves me into the realm of the extraordinary. There is an "excellent adventure" to which God invites us to participate in on a daily basis and the way to get there is to quit making excuses, get past our fear, doubt or whatever and move towards the greatness of what He has for us.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Embracing My Pentecostal Inner Self...

I have wrestled with being Pentecostal for a long time.

Sometimes I want to downplay the whole thing, become more sophisticated and strategic and just be part of the broader church as it just seems to have less "baggage" associated with it than what Pentecostalism brings with it. (Especially with our "nuttier" members of the family... I just get tired of explaining flakiness...)

It seems that while Pentecostal culture may be slowly and subtly infiltrating the broader church, it appears that Pentecostal Power is missing in action among our own ranks. Adopting/Embracing the best parts of our culture is easy, because we have some very good things going on. Our culture (in theory) is participatory, energetic and enthusiastic, but none of these things on it's own will change the world. Let's face it, the devil doesn't run and hide just because you raise or clap your hands when you sing. He doesn't freak out if you dance a little jig and he really doesn't tremble just because you become emotional at times. Pointing to the infiltration of Pentecostal culture as a sign of our success is at best desperate and at worst pretty lame. Pentecostal culture is okay, but it's not what has set the world on fire time and time again...

There are other times, in my life (like now...) when I think the answer is just to be a "holy ghost guy" and let God take care of the details. I'm not elitist at all. I don't think I'm better than any other believer because I am coming to terms with my "Pentecostal Inner Self".

I confess that I'm attracted to spiritual power. I love the thrill that comes with prophesying, praying and preaching in a Pentecostal context. I love it when GOD shows up in a prayer meeting, church service or altar service and absolutely takes control and sets my plans on their ear. I'm not an elitist by any stretch of the imagination. All I'm saying is that Pentecostalism in it's truest form fully expects that GOD is VERY INTERESTED in being SUPERNATURALLY INVOLVED in EVERY PART of our lives. There's an expectation that "God Moments" or "God things" can happen at any moment and there's something about that paradigm that works like a nuclear reactor inside of me generating both spiritual passion and spiritual power.

My favorite ministry memories are driving home after church saying to Barb - "Can you believe what happened tonight?" Did you see what God did??

Anyway - bottom line - I'm happy that the church is embracing Pentecostal culture.

My prayer is that it would be overtaken with Pentecostal Power!

Check back later, you might find my "I AM PENTECOSTAL" rant!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Knowing His Plan

I have more "favorite verses" than I can tell you about, but the one that comes to my mind today is from Jer. 29:11. "For I know the plans that I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

God's plans are established by his declaration. In the beginning "God said let there be ... and it was as He had declared it should be. The same is true with our lives. In the beginning, as he knit us together in our mother's womb, God said, "Let there be prosperity, peace, hope and a future" over our lives. I'm well aware that there are many who believe that God wouldn't or doesn't do stuff like that, but everything I see in the Bible tells me He does.

As a dad, I want the best for my kids. I see them being successful, prosperous, happy and healthy. If I can believe these things will happen in the lives of my children, how much more will a Perfect God want those same things for me and for my kids? Jesus said, "If you being evil know how to give good gifts, how much more will your Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him."

I had a moment this evening when I was talking with a friend who is very likely moving to Ottawa over the next few weeks. The last time we talked, neither one of us would have known it was happening, but over the last few weeks, God has been putting some things together. I'm excited for him. He's a wonderful person and will be a tremendous blessing in our capital city. He's very aware of the vision that burns within me to reach our leaders with the love and life of Jesus. As we talked about his upcoming move, we both realized the divine implications as God was ordering both his steps and mine toward the same place at some point in the future. It was an "aha" moment that continues to burn inside of me. God is up to something much bigger than anything I would have dreamed of.

Eph 3:20 tells us that He is able to do immeasurably more than all we are able to think or ask or imagine. I'm starting to see it happen and can hardly wait to see how it all plays out over the coming months and years!

In case you're wondering, God does play favorites. And you're one of them. We are all "favorites" in His eyes and He is constantly looking for ways to show His favor to us!

Enjoy the ride!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

22 Years Ago

It scares me that I can write about anything that happened 22 years ago, but today marks 25 years that Barb and I started going out together. We'd been out on at least one, maybe two dates, but this was the night when it all became official.

We were at at a city wide youth meeting that night that was hosted at her church. She was leading worship, wearing a dark blue sweater that made her platinum blonde hair sparkle. All I remember is her looking out and smiling at me during worship. I was smitten before we started, but that certainly put me over the brink.

After the meeting was over, I had to get my youth group back to the church and then make sure everybody got home. After that I phoned Barb to see if she wanted to go out and get something to eat. While she was waiting for me to call she was doodling "Barb Schindel" on a scrap piece of paper that still exists somewhere in our crawl space.

Being the romantic guy that I am, I took her to a drive thru (Burger Flame) ordered two burgers, fries and a couple of drinks and proceeded to drive to a place where we could view the lights of the city. This is easier said than done in Moose Jaw, because it's in the prairies...

After some driving and subtle suggestions from Barb we found a place near a Senior's Care Facilty that had a great view and afforded us some privacy. (It was the place where her great grandma was and so we "visited grandma" a lot after that.... While we ate our burgers (complete with fresh onions) we talked about a lot of things, but nothing really important. As the night went on, we began to identify various landmarks in the city and pointed them out to each other. In a coy move that ranks among the best I have ever done, I managed to pick out something that she couldn't seem to find without following my finger to where I was pointing. When she looked back to ask if she'd found the right place she turned to look back at me and kissed me. We've been kissing ever since...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Meeting the Challenge

This came from one of our board members today. Please follow through to the end for my comments.

Peter Marshall's book, "The Light & the Glory", records a prophecy given by Puritan Reformers around 1776 when the British Empire Loyalists turned north to settle in Canada in order to remain under British rule. When zealous Americans sought to persecute them because of this decision, the Spirit of the Lord spoke through their prophets saying:

"Do not hinder these people. Let them move to Canada. Do not seek to incorporate the land of Canada into America. I am in the independence of America from Britain, and will mightily use this country. But Canada has been reserved by Me for the last days for a special work."

The following is an excerpt from Dr. Yonngi Cho's prophecy delivered October 1975 at Evangel Temple, Kelowna, BC:
"When I came to Canada, the Holy Spirit spoke in my heart, 'Son, you have come to the place which I chose. This country is the country I chose to fill the gap.' "Being a Canadian is now a welcome hallmark throughout the whole world … You have the welcome open door like the Philadelphia church in Revelation, you have the finances, well-trained personnel, and a good Church. God calls you to rise up to meet this challenge before Christ comes. A clear-cut clarion trumpet sound is coming to Canada. Rise up, Canada! Meet the challenge.
"God wants your young men and young women to rise up and give their lives as living sacrifices. God needs your money, your businesses, your homes, your lives to be dedicated to Him … God is depending upon you … I know that you will do it. I know that you are well able to do it."

At a 1984 church growth seminar in Sackville, Nova Scotia, Dr. Yonngi Cho reiterated the earlier prophecy, adding to it:

"Five years ago I visited Canada and travelled from Montreal to Vancouver by car. I was preaching from town to town, and while I was speaking, I felt somewhat depressed. The Canadian Church seemed so small.
"But wherever I went, the Holy Spirit spoke in my heart that God was going to raise up tremendous churches in Canada and that Canada would be used as a missionary sending country, and that Canada would open the way for Jesus Christ to return to this earth.
"I was afraid to confess that but when I was praying … the Spirit of the Lord would impress my heart to say it. I was afraid because I already thought that America was far greater than Canada. If ever God would use any country, He should use America instead of Canada because America is a … country with greater resources and more population.
"But again and again God spoke to my heart that He was going to use Canada, so finally in Toronto, with great inner faith, I prophesied as the Holy Spirit anointed me.
" … I really believe that God is going to bless Canada and the Canadian Church is going to rise up once again and go to the four corners of the world and bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to pave the way for His second coming."

Originally published in Spread the Fire, March/April,

Tim's thoughts: Some 30 years after the fact, I remain convinced that God still has a plan for our nation and that what Peter Marshall wrote about and what Yonngi Cho spoke about are in the process of being fulfilled. There are very encouraging signs from Ottawa and elsewhere that we are beginning to embrace our destiny. This confirms the vision that burns in my heart to influence those who shape the climate of our nation. We need to go and we need to go now.

Have a good one!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Turning Back The Clock

I got a phone call from our church today. They needed an "onsite pastor" to attend the youth meeting tonight and just be there. Our youth pastor left a few weeks ago and we are in between pastors at the moment and no one else could be there....

Well, after 14 years away from youth ministry this was a bit of surprise for me and considerable stress for Britt as she was going to be there. When I got home from work, I put on my most "youthy" type clothes - multi colored striped shirt, jeans, and my coolest shoes. After I got there, I discovered that what might be cool for 40 somethings, doesn't cut it with 15-17 year olds. So there I was, looking positively out of place among 130 "happening" kids. Fortunately, the lights were off, the music was loud and most of them were dancing up front so I didn't stick out too badly.

It was a great night! One of they young leaders preached and did a great job. The band was happening and they had a great response to the altar. All in all a lot of fun.

The funniest moment was when a girl came forward for prayer. She had a plugged ear and wanted us to pray. Now you've got to picture this, a band playing at full volume, a drummer really going for it and a bass sub behind us. We pray for her and then ask her if she can hear anything... You would have to be stone deaf, not just have a plugged ear not to hear anything where we were standing. I guess that's one way to ensure a miracle!! :-)

All in all, it was a lot of fun being there. IGNITE is a great program led by people who really care about students and know how to create an atmosphere that allows God to work and move. I told Britt I was going to volunteer for youth staff, but first I'd have to dye my grey hair blonde, get a few piercings and a couple of tattoo's...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Lessons From the Fair

We did our annual visit to the IPE (Armstrong Fair) this weekend. We had a great time, although my feet are still sore from the hours of standing in line so that the kids wouldn't have to wait as long for their next 60 second ride. We had a great time with my parents and Barb's aunt and uncle watching the rodeo and cheering on the competitors.

This might not be profound for some of you, but it keeps coming back to my mind so I've decided to pass it on to you. As you can imagine, parking was insane on the Saturday of the Long Weekend at the fair. Without exaggeration, there were cars parked everywhere. On sidewalks, boulevards, and in clearly posted no parking zones. As we walked up to the main gate 4 police cars pulled up to oversee the towing of about 10 Harley Davidson motorcycles. It looked like something out of a movie. When we left to get something to eat, we saw the same tow truck working on a group of cars that had double parked and blocked people in. My guess is that there were some pretty unhappy people at the end of the night when they were trying to get home.

You are undoubtedly wondering what I might have seen in the removal of improperly parked vehicles that could have spiritual implications, so here it is... I keep thinking about the Sovereignty of God in this simple illustration. Sometimes we "park" ourselves in places where we think it's just not going to matter in the grand scheme of things or maybe we "double-park" because we think we can get away with it. Sometimes it's a matter of being rebellious, sometimes it's just a matter of becoming stale and stagnant. Whatever the case, I see God getting involved to move us to where we are supposed to be. I don't see this as punitive or even judgmental from God's perspective as much as I see Him moving us to the places that we need to be to fulfill His purposes for our lives. This is an expression of His love for us and an illustration of His commitment to:

A) Work all things out for our good and
B) To continue the good work that He has begun in us until the day of completion.

Like the people who came out looking for their towed cars on Saturday night, we're not always taken with the expression of God's sovereignty in our lives. Sometimes we don't understand it and sometimes we don't even like it. But further into the journey, we are able to look back and see WHAT HE HAS DONE and WHY HE HAS DONE IT!

In that moment, we can simply stop and say "Thanks!"

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Faith Raising

I've spent a lot of time over the last few months thinking about faith and trust and have come to some interesting conclusions that have been very liberating. Ultimately faith in God is connected to trusting God. Trust is an interesting concept because it requires us to be vulnerable to the whims and actions of others. What complicates things is that we often interpret the negative things that happen to us and around us as being God's failure to hold up His part of the trust relationship. The result is that we begin to create limits on what can realistically expect God to follow through on. That translates into taking control for those parts of our lives into our own hands. In the beginning, this seems like a very good idea as it seems "safer" than trusting God who may or may not take care of things. Like every other lie that we begin to believe this too leads to death. Death shows up through spiritual and mental exhaustion, a negative attitude and broken relationships. We are left spiritually bankrupt and broken while we frantically try to control and manage our collapsing world.

Trust needs to be rooted in a very basic understanding of God's love for us. Jesus said, "if you, being evil know how to give good gifts, how much more will your Father in heaven give ... to you..."

While I'm still on an enormous journey, I've come to the following conclusions:

1. God's love for me never fails, in spite of what I may see happening to me and around me. He is a good Father.

2. I have never gone without when I have trusted God. I have experienced pain and disappointment when things didn't work out as I had planned, but my needs have always been met.

3. God has consistently worked everything together for my good. While I have not always enjoyed the journey on which He has taken me, the longer I live, the easier it is to see His hand at work in the moments and details of my life.

4. Finally, I MUST feed myself on God's Word, if for no other reason that it increases my faith. There are many other reasons, but this one alone would be good enough. Understanding that the promises are all for me, my family and to any who are willing to believe keeps me focused on the reality that Jesus never fails and that He is constantly working out His purposes in my life.

Learning to Lean...

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bringing God Back Into Public Life: Financier

Excluding Religion Leaves Us Vulnerable, Prayer Breakfast Told
Jennifer Green, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Friday, June 02, 2006

Canadian leaders ought to be ashamed that they demur from mentioning Christ in what is, after all, a predominantly Christian country, says Tom Caldwell, a prominent investment strategist.
"Spiritual vacuums don't exist. We all believe in something. The question is, what are we going to believe?" Mr. Caldwell told the annual National Prayer Breakfast on Parliament Hill yesterday.
When government erases all mention of God, it leaves space for more dubious faith in money, fame, even otherwise worthy goals like self-sufficiency, he said.

Later, in an interview, Mr. Caldwell that the public memorials for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Swissair Flight 111 were disgraceful because clergy were specifically asked not to mention Jesus at all. He called the Parliament Hill ceremony after Sept. 11 "pathetic."
If Muslims and Jews might be offended at invocations of Christ, "so what?" he asked. "Anyway, they usually aren't offended." If anything, people of faith are usually more bothered when God is not mentioned at all. "My Jewish friends are the only ones who will wish me Merry Christmas.

Most people know Mr. Caldwell through the business pages, where, by any measure he is one of Canada's most successful men. Most recently, he made his clients a $100-million profit by snapping up seats on the New York Stock Exchange. He is a member of the Order of Canada and New York's University Club, the Toronto Club, the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. So how does he square such worldly success with his Catholic faith?
"It's the love of money that is wrong, not money itself." He says he stays in business because he provides a service ensuring the fiscal well-being of clients and their pensions.
To the MPs, senators, various clergy, and other interest groups gathered at the breakfast in the West Block, he talked about his Christian faith and how it grew stronger in the darkest, least successful times of his life.
Growing up agnostic in a tumultuous family, his closest contact with religion was the Catholic church where he regularly pilfered the alms box so he could afford to go to the movies.
It wasn't until his professional and personal life fell apart in his 30s, that he became Christian. He later paid back the church -- with interest -- for the change he took.

The National Prayer Breakfast started 41 years ago as an outgrowth of the weekly prayer breakfast held for MPs and senators on the Hill. This year, it included a dinner on Wednesday, with speaker Chuck Strahl, a Conservative MP from Chilliwack, B.C.
He was diagnosed last year with cancer and told the crowd that faith had helped him get through he worst days.

Yesterday, Liberal leader Bill Graham, NDP leader Jack Layton, and Conservative House leader Rob Nicholson delivered Bible readings. Various senators and Carlos Miranda, dean of the diplomatic corps, also spoke or read prayers. © The Ottawa Citizen 2006

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Staffs and Serpents

When I resigned from the church, I was determined to "re-invent" myself. Great concept because there were a lot of things that needed to change, but there was a problem in my thinking. I had forgotten that the clay doesn't say to the potter, I'm going to shape myself into what I want to be. God had another plan, and I'm glad that He did, because while I continue to be in the process of being re-invented, I see a lot of things much differently than I did a year ago and those who live closest to me will tell you that's a VERY GOOD thing!

In the week before I decided to resign, I heard a devotional at a ministerial group. The message was built around God's challenge to Moses to "throw down his staff". When he did, the staff became a serpent and when God told Moses to retrieve it, it became a staff again. What's interesting about this whole story is that the purpose of the staff changed dramatically.

Up until that point, the staff had only been used to shepherd sheep. In the 40 years that Moses was a shepherd, he would have used his staff to rescue sheep, protect the sheep and guide the sheep. After the encounter with God, the staff was never used for those purposes again. After the God encounter, Moses staff was an instrument of miracles. Over and over again, God used the staff (something that was familiar to Moses) as an instrument through which something supernatural took place. The staff was central in the plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, bringing water from a rock, in military battles and many other places.

God used what was familiar, common and ordinary and did something miraculous over and over with it. None of it makes any sense in the natural, but there aren't many places in the bible where God does something amazing that makes a lot of sense.

To the widow who is starving he says, feed my prophet and there will always be enough for you, and He sustained her for 3 1/2 years.,

To the childless senior citizens, He promised an heir and at 90 Sarah delivered her first born. When Isaac was 16, God tells Abraham to offer him as a sacrifice and their God revealed himself as the God who provides.

To the terrified king, God sends a young boy to slay a giant with nothing more than a sling and 5 stones.

To a virgin, God says, you're going to have a son, to a disciple he says, walk on water, to the pharisees he says kill me and in 3 days I will rise again.

None of it makes any sense at all, but God was in it all and made all of it work!

The same is true with you and me. God is constantly calling you and I to things that make no sense, and yet that is where is He is waiting to show Himself and His great power! In fact it may well be that the key to seeing God do the kinds of things we see Him doing in the Bible in and through our lives is simply to listen and risk more.

The easy thing to do is play it safe and hold on to the "staff" in our life and keep doing the same thing in the same way. The exciting thing to do is to step out and go for it and watch God step up to the plate and do something amazing!!