Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Unprecedented displays of the grace, mercy, wisdom and power of God will be seen in ways that have been previously unkown. Where it has seemed that God is on the outside looking in, He will suddenly be on the inside looking out, bringing transformation, hope and healing to places and people everywhere.
Darkness will begin to flee as the light of the glory of God begins to shine over every riding of our province and over every MLA. Righteousness will rise the like morning sun, not as the result of a political petition or protest but because the people of God across our province have touched heaven and asked God for his presence, blessing and touch upon the most beautiful place on earth because it is NOT by might, NOR by power, BUT BY MY SPIRIT says the Lord!!
Here's how we're going to do it. We've created an online prayer calendar http://www.leadinginfluence.com/PrayerDirectory.html that allows you to click on the day of the month and see the MLA we are praying for. At this point, we have the MLA and Riding names, plus some other information. As time goes on, our vision is to include specific information on each riding provided to us by the MLA. One of the things I'll be doing over the next few weeks as I meet MLA's in Victoria is to send them an email saying that we have people from across the province who are praying for them and asking God to bless them today. One day I'll be able to say we have 10,000 people praying for you and your riding today. That will be a VERY exciting time!
10,000 people seems like an impossible goal, but it's the goal that we will achieve as the Lord helps us. You can "join the team" and become part of transforming the spiritual atmosphere of our province by visiting our website http://www.leadinginfluence.com/PrayerDirectory.html Click the link at the bottom of the page and we'll add you to our next email blast going out n a few weeks.
Thanks for coming on board! I'll keep you posted on how we are doing!!
Saturday, January 27, 2007
I hate labels personally. I don't like it when they are attached to me and yet, I am learing something about myself that I don't really like. I remember "stuff" that has happened to me and have attached labels to the lives of those who have done it. "Backstabber" "Hypocrite" "Liar" etc. etc. (There are other labels, but this is a public forum so we'll let them be unsaid...)
My point today is that while I dislike the labels that others have attached to me, I have been very willing to attach them to others. Not good... especially given that the bulk of my adult life has been in pastoral ministry... Now just so you know, I only attached labels to people who went out of there way to make my life miserable, but that still doesn't make it right.
All of this reminds me of a story I heard once about people putting labels on everybody tagging them with all of their faults, mistakes, failures and sin. Think about it if you will. A mass "labeling" event. Every label, every sin, every failure, every mistake, every flaw, plainly labeled and marked for everyone to see. You might think there would be some sense of humility in the room as it was very clear that everyone was in the same boat and no one was "label free".
Then Jesus comes into the room.... not to pass out yet more labels but instead to start removing labels. In removing the labels, people are set free from their past and able to live towards their future. (The story in it's entirety is far better and longer, but I think you get the point.)
Here's what I'm coming to learn about me. The labels that I have placed on people are there only as a result of my impression or experience with them at one particular point in time. They may well have moved on or past that kind of behaviour, position, attitude or whatever and yet they continue to be "there" in my mind because of the label that I have placed on them. This is really about forgiveness and "letting go". The reality of life is that it's just way to short to hold on to the junk of the past far beyond the life of the actual offense. So, I am choosing to be a "label lifter" rather than a "label placer".
As for the labels that others have placed on me, Jesus continues to come into my room and lift off labels. It feels good to be free!
Have a good one!
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Only in Vancouver...
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Jack Layton came to Kamloops today and while it was brief, I did have the chance to speak with him for a few moments today. He's a very real and down to earth person. While we didn't talk at length today, I would have liked to tell him that he has been a tremendous encouragement to me.
During the last federal election, I read a quote by Mr. Layton in the Canadian version of Christianity Today. Along with every other federal leader he was asked how he saw the relationship between faith and politics. The responses (loosely quoted...) were as follows:
Then PM Paul Martin (LIB) - "I leave my faith at the door because faith and politics shouldn't mix."
Stephen Harper (CPC) - said something to the effect that faith was a personal matter and while it would affect the life of the individual, he preferred not to comment. This isn't an exact quote by any means, but he did give a very careful answer.
Gille Duceppe (BQ)- "Faith and Politics should not be mixed. I refuse to answer because the question is inappropriate."
Jack Layton (NDP) - "Ottawa needs to hear the prophetic voice of the faith community."
Mr. Layton is right and now you see why I like him! I really see this as invitation to a visit with him in his Ottawa office. I couldn't help but think as I shook his hand that the day is coming when I will be able to sit in his office in Ottawa and share the prophetic voice of the faith community with him. I already know what I will say to him when that day comes and I'm really looking forward to it.
Here's what I know to be true. God is more interested in the hearts/lives of political leaders than He is in their politics. Sadly we have been more concerned with their politics and not enough with their hearts and lives.
I also know that when they meet Jesus (the real Jesus, not an intolerant, narrow and uptight concoction of who He is sometimes made out to be) that they will be attracted to His love for people and His desire to strengthen and transform their lives so that they can experience His love, grace and power and at the same time fulfill their true life purpose. All of this is because of His great love for them.
I'm starting to preach so I'm gonna leave it for now! Have a good one!!
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
We were re-arranging some space in our house yesterday and found my journal from 2002. I hadn't looked at it for a few years so I opened it up and began flipping through to see what was going on in my life during that time. Some things I read made me smile, some things I read made me sad when I remembered the pain of those days. And then I flipped the page (there's probably something tremendously profound about that statement...) and read these words...
"I have a growing desire to create a "legislative chaplaincy" I remain very attracted to leaders and see an enormous need for godly leadership and influence at that level. This is very exciting to me, especially given the last 3 years of my life. The people that I have shared this with have been very positive and affirming which has been a tremendous confirmation to me.
This change would require me to:
1. Raise my own support - $100,000 annually
2. Create something new that would influence our nation.
3. Develop a whole new approach to life and ministry.
A thought I had this morning was "how do I reconcile what I believe about the local church (The local church is the only hope for the world...) AND where I see God taking me? Both are valid and neither are in conflict, it's just a matter of how do these two things fit together??"
Like you, I've heard people say over and over again that it's important that we write down our goals if we want to achieve them. Now I must confess that while I've written down goals in the past, it was mostly to "appease" whoever was leading the particular goal setting exercise that I was participating in. My thinking was "I believe, but help my unbelief..."
Five years after writing this down, I'm more of a believer than ever before.
God... You are SO AMAZING
Monday, January 15, 2007
Tyler has been grounded for the rest of his life for making such a crass suggestion.
Tim the fossil...
Friday, January 12, 2007
This is a classic case of Lady and the Tramp as the father wooed her away from us while we were out for a walk in the woods. By the time we caught up to them it was too late, he had made his mark (so to speak...) and it was a matter of waiting and watching. He isn't much to look at, but she's a beautiful dog and I'm hoping that her "Lab genes" have overpowered his gene pool.
I never cease to be amazed at the wonder of nature. Zoe has never seen a litter apart from her own and yet has managed to figure out nursing, protecting, caring and cleaning her offspring. It reminds me that if God is concerned enough about her puppies to provide them with a mother who will care for them, how much more will he care for us who are of much more value to him.
Speaking of value.... I know some puppies who will need a good home in about 6 weeks and they will go for cheap!! So .... if you're looking for a dog let me know.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
You need to develop the characteristics of long distance flying birds. The Lord showed me small parts of the birds extremely close up and with some other minor instructions the dream ended.
I studied these notes on the Albatross.
Good navigational skills involving accurate, orientation and assessment are needed. (I can understand that when praying) You need to store up fat (phat in the Lord) Albatrosses are highly efficient in the air, using dynamic soaring and slope soaring to cover great distances with little exertion. Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord.
Dynamic soaring (this is good)
Dynamic soaring is a flying technique used to gain kinetic energy without effort by repeatedly crossing the boundary between air masses of significantly different horizontal velocity Such zones of high wind gradient are generally found close to obstacles (notice you need those obstacles) and close to the ground, so the technique is mainly used by birds, but glider pilots have occasionally been able to soar dynamically in meteorological wind shears at high altitudes. Sea birds dynamically soar by repeatedly diving into the valleys of ocean waves or sea billows (when sorrows like sea billows roar) and then wheeling back up into the air. Albatrosses are particularly adept at exploiting the technique and they use it to travel many thousands of miles using hardly any energy.
When the bird pulls up into the wind out of the still air in the lee of a wave, it suddenly becomes exposed to a head wind, so the speed of the air over its wings increases. It then turns in the other direction and, with the wind behind it, dives back into the shelter of a wave. This also results in an increase in its air-speed. So by repeating this "wheeling" pattern, the bird can continue flying indefinitely without having to put in any effort. In effect it is harvesting energy from the wind gradient.
Slope soaring requires a hill or a mountain (who doesn’t have those in their life, I know we did) and a wind that is blowing on the face of the hill or mountain. The wind will create a region of rising air directly in front of the hill which may extend quite a distance upwards and outwards from its face because the airflow follows the contour of the hill (this is called aerographic lift).
However at near vertical cliffs, there is usually an area of turbulence with descending air near the base of the cliff. Downwind of the hill, standing waves can form that are also used by glider pilots to gain height but this should not be confused with slope lift. The rising air from the slope is used to keep gliders airborne. Although a glider is always descending through the air, it will climb if the surrounding air is rising faster than the glider's sink rate. (Feel like your sinking in your problem?)
So what I gathered from all of this:
1. Good navigational skills involving accurate, orientation and assessment are needed. We need to be Phat in the Lord!! This is needed for our prayers to hit the mark.
2. Dynamic soaring is needed to build kinetic energy So that it is not by power or by strength but by my spirit says the Lord. No sense us flapping our wings without purpose.
3. Notice that the zones needed to catch these drafts involve obstacles!!! We may even need to use the valleys of ocean waves or sea billows.
4. Slope soaring requires a hill or a mountain to create a region of rising air. We need to use the mountains and hills in our life to acquire greater heights. In the last year facing some of the many obstacles, sea billows, and huge mountains, we learned to stand on God’s promises!!
Even in the darkest hours we prayed, trusting God’s word that tells us that "if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
So I am not sure what you are facing or what 2007 will hold for us but as we stand in his strength and power no matter what obstacles, mountains or sea billows we face they can only be use as a means to cause us to soar to greater heights!!!!!!!!
Believe!! Soar high!!!!!!!! Don’t be discouraged!! Our God can do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask and pray.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
Understanding this incredible reality makes a huge difference in my life. It helps me to understand those periods of my life that make no sense to me in the natural. I've been blessed and have enjoyed some tremendous days of ministry when God was so close that at times it was as though you could smell Him. There have been other times when life and ministry felt a lot like I was banging my head against a wall and that God was nowhere to be found. Coming to recognize that He was at work in the chaos and preparing me for the next step when God spoke another "Let there be..." over my life, has brought tremendous healing and release to me.
You might feel as though God is far away and has forgotten your name and address. It may be that you are spinning your wheels and wondering what's going on in your life. Your life might even look more chaotic than ever before. It might look black for you, but the reality is that the Holy Spirit is hovering over it all, preparing you for the opportunities that will appear as suddenly as light came forth when God said "Let there be..."
So... don't give up or quit. Today may be the day God says "Let there be..." over your life.
Friday, January 05, 2007
I had my first MLA meeting on Wednesday. I can't share specifics except to say "WOW GOD!!" It's funny how we expect God to do big things and great things, but when He does it they are so often far beyond what we expected would happen that it surprises us. It's no wonder that Paul wrote about him as the One who is able to exceedingly above all we are able to ask or think or imagine. Wednesday was one of those days when He did just that. At the very least I will have a guest pass to both the speech from the throne and the budget speech and potentially something more longterm after that.
One of the things I can tell you is that there are many Christians in key positions of leadership within government and that God continues to open doors and arrange people as he sees fit. The devil has us convinced that we are always on the bottom never on the top, but the bible tells us that when we walk with HIM we are always on the TOP never on the BOTTOM! Based on what I learned on Wednesday, I'm not surprised that our province continues to be an economic leader in our nation based simply on the fact that the blessing of God ALWAYS flows from the TOP down. We are very blessed to be where we are.
Finally, I met a guy this week who makes wooden coins. Kind of cool thing that if you have them in your house, you can't put them down. Check them out at www.woodencoin.com
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
I'm starting off with a speaking engagement at 7:00 AM to a number of business people in our city. I've been with them before and it's nice to be invited back. The theme for the morning is "BHAGS". If that's something new to you, BHAGS are BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOALS. You could think of them as the King Kong of all the goals we set and work towards. BHAGS are fun to dream and set for ourselves and even more fun to achieve.
I've got an appointment at 10 to secure a business opportunity that will pay the bills while we continue to lay a firm financial foundation for the ministry. Things are coming along, but I'm able to do some other things while we get this fully off the ground.
12:00 Noon - This marks a big moment for us as I have my first official meeting with an MLA for ministry purposes. I've known this person for a few years so I'm really looking forward to our time together. Pray that the Lord will be very present and will guide our conversation. I can hardly wait to see what God will do with this.
1:30 - Go to the Y and buy a Family Membership. Missions Trips, Christmas and a Youth Retreat do nasty things to your waistline.
Speaking about BHAGS, what's the one thing that would make 2007 an amazing year for you?