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.

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