Friday, March 30, 2007

Invite an MLA...

Sorry I haven't written all week, but it's been pretty busy around here with preparing for a move, taking care of our business, and growing the ministry all at the same time. It's been hectic to say the least.

In a few weeks our denominational pastor's conference will take place in Victoria. I've sent an email out to every pastor in our conference encouraging them to visit, connect with or treat their MLA to breakfast/lunch or dinner while they are there. I'm hoping to achieve several objectives with this initiative. The first is to be a blessing to the MLA's as my hope would be that pastors who have take the opportunity to visit would also have the opportunity to pray and or encourage their representative. The second is to facilitate establishing relationships between pastors and their respective MLA's.

Additionally, I'm also working on a mini "prayer breakfast" for Christian MLA's and the pastors from the ridings they represent. This will be a private event by invitation only but very significant at the same time. There are some other possibilities/opportunities that are in the mix, but I'm not able to share them with you at this time.

So... here are some prayer requests:
1. Pray that pastors will have the courage and vision to meet their MLA while in Victoria.
2. Pray that MLA's will be open to receive a call and visit. (Perhaps openings will suddenly appear in their schedule...)
3. Ask the Lord to open the doors for this exciting opportunity with the prayer breakfast. There are several hurdles to be crossed, but we believe that God has given us this opportunity.

I'll keep you posted!!!


Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Illusion of Security

The closer we get to making our move to Victoria, the more I am tempted with what I've called the illusion of security. Security is a good thing, it's just where you look for it that determines whether it's reality or an illusion. Sometimes the difference between illusion and reality is simply the difference between what's "good" and what's "best".

Good is safe, best is ... dangerous, requires sacrifice, and a whole lot of faith to see it happen and that's where the illusion of security comes into play. Playing it "safe" in our eyes generally keeps us from the fullness of what God has for us. There's an old hymn "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms". One line talks about being "safe and secure from all alarm". The place of safety is found in leaning on the everlasting arms of Jesus, not a bad place to be...

I was sharing this with a friend this week. She relayed something that happened with her son and his buddies a few days ago. They were out fishing near Victoria but when they came to shore, the tide was too low for them to pull the boat out at the same place they put it in. They decided to go to a different marina to pull out there as the launch was better suited to low tide. Her son, who is training to be a sea captain, got off the boat to drive the truck and trailer to the other location left his friends with this advice... "keep the green buoys on your right..."

A little while later, he got a phone call from his buddies saying that they were in shallow water and needed some help. He asked if they could see the bottom to which they replied that they could see the feet of the birds standing in the water. He asked where the green buoys were and they said "on the left".

Here's the conclusion that my friend shared with me....

So Tim you can take this ship and go into safe shallow water but you are not going to get to where you really want to go. It doesn’ t even require that much faith, In fact you couldn’t even walk on water if you wanted to cause it is so shallow you can see birds feet. LOL On the other hand if you stay on the right side of the buoys the water is dark and you can’t really reach land too quickly but ships whip along in that deep water and there is no fear of getting stuck.

So... in spite of the illusion of security, we are headed for the deep water where the big ships go!!

And in my best "Captain Highliner" voice....

"Arrr Billy.... Have ye ever been to sea?"

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Sound of Heaven

Heaven is a noisy place. There's music, singing, shouting and declarations of victory and joy. Everyone in heaven is a part of it. The living creatures, the angels, the elders, the multitudes, the trumpets and the voice of God all combine to make up the sound of heaven. It's a positive sound. It's a powerful sound. The sound of heaven is the sound of victory, the sound of triumph, the sound of celebration. It's a sound that never ends...

In Acts 16, you'll read about Paul and Silas in prison. At about midnight we find Paul and Silas praying and singing. These aren't superheroes, they are just two men, called by God to preach but they knew something powerful. They knew that when the sound we make on earth resonates with the sound made in heaven the atmosphere for a miracle is created and in that moment anything can happen. So rather than giving in to their pain, their fear and their discouragement, they chose to align their sound with the sound of heaven. The sound in heaven is always focused on God's greatness, His power, His victory and His majesty. As they sang an earthquake began to shake the foundations of the prison so that every prison door sprung open and every prisoners chains fell off. That's totally incredible!

I used to play guitar. Every so often, my guitar would resonate with the sound that was coming from another instrument. The strings would begin to make their own sound when another instrument would produce a sound at the same pitch. The soundboard would begin to vibrate which caused the strings to make their own sound. That's kind of what happened that night in prison. Paul and Silas sent out a sound that resounded with the sound of heaven that resulted in a supernatural release of the power of heaven in their prison cell. What makes this even more amazing is that Paul and Silas weren't the only beneficiaries of heaven's power. The scope of their victory spilled over into the lives of those that were neither singing nor praying!! Their doors swung open and their chains fell off. Is it possible that the words we speak, the songs we sing, the attitudes we carry could actually create an atmosphere of miracles that brings transformation to our homes, neighbourhoods, towns, cities, province and nation just because we've sent out a sound that resonates with heaven?

I don't know what's happening in your life. I don't know what prison you may find yourself in, what giant you might be facing, what mountain needs to move for you. All I know is that when your sound aligns with the sound of heaven, anything can happen!!

So... go ahead.... make some noise that resonates with the sound of heaven.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Something different

I got this in an email from a friend. I hope you enjoy it.

An Irishman moves into a tiny hamlet in County Kerry. One evening he walks into the local pub and promptly orders three beers. The bartender raises his eyebrows, but serves the man three beers, which he drinks quietly at a table, alone. An hour later, the man has finished the three beers and orders three more. This happens yet again. The next evening the man again orders and drinks three beers at a time, several times.

Soon the entire town is whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers. Finally, a week later, the bartender broaches the subject on behalf of the town. "I don't mean to pry, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers?" "Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies, "You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond." The bartender and the whole town were pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink. Then, one day, the man comes in and orders only two beers. The bartender pours them with a heavy heart. This continues for the rest of the evening. He orders only two beers. The word flies around town. Prayers are offered for the soul of one of the brothers. The next day, the bartender says to the man, "Folks around here, me first of all, want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother. You know-the two beers and all..." The man ponders this for a moment, then replies, "You'll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. It's just that I, meself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

A Night Out

Barb has been working tremendously hard as we bridge the gap between pastoral ministry and establishing the chaplaincy. Between teaching, newspaper distribution and just generally being a fantastic mom and wife, life has been pretty crazy. She was due for a treat so last night we went to something very unique. It's "Cowboy Festival" time in Kamloops. The festival is a gathering of cowboy poets, traditional country artists, artisans, etc, etc. It's pretty interesting if for no other reason than to see the many interesting people around town.

The Kamloops Symphony was hosting an Alberta group called "Celtic Cowboy". Barb is much more of a symphony fan than I am, but I knew she'd really enjoy it. Celtic Cowboy is true cowboy band with a "fiddle, flute, harp, guitar and mandolin". They do traditional cowboy music mixed in with some story telling. It was a great show!! They had never been backed up by an orchestra before so it was new for everyone but a great night all the same.

If you're in Kamloops (or nearby) you can probably still get tickets. If not, you can visit their website and learn more about them. If you ever get the chance to hear them live, you'll absolutely enjoy yourself.

Talk to you later

Friday, March 09, 2007

From sea to sea...

I arrived early at the Legislature one morning this week and had a few extra minutes to walk the grounds and pray. Because I've found FREE PARKING nearby, I started my walk at the Fountain of Confederation. It's directly across from the Legislature and features the Coats of Arms of the Provinces and Territories on a wall that serves as a backdrop to a large low fountain. In the centre of the wall is the Canadian Coat of Arms along with our official motto "And his dominion shall be from sea to sea" (Ps. 72:8) I couldn't help see the incredible symbolism (both national and prophetic) of this fountain.

In the natural realm, the symbolism is obvious as the all of the provinces and territories are represented in one place in Canada's most western province. I'm not sure if there's a similar spot in Newfoundland, but I want to visit there and find out.

The spiritual symbolism of this spot is breathtaking to me. A few blocks from where the fountain is there is a statue recognizing the Spanish explorers who first discovered Vancouver Island. They made their mark by planting a flag and claiming the land for Spain. We know that the Spaniards eventually lost control of the land to the British and the rest is history. The difference between an explorer planting his flag and God making HIS mark is that the kingdom of heaven never passes away. It is an eternal kingdom that will stand for all of time and eternity. When God sowed the seed of a vision for the Fountain of Confederation He was making his eternal mark on the western shores of Canada.

The fountain speaks to me of abundance and the constant flow of the blessing of God. The fountain is made up of two bowls. The lower bowl is probably 20 feet in diameter. The smaller bowl is about 5 feet in diameter. The smaller bowl is elevated above the larger and the water flows generously up through it's centre and then overflows into the larger. I see this as picture of God's promise for our nation. I hear Him saying that as the life giving presence and power of the Holy Spirit is released into the lives of government leaders, that His blessing will be poured out in abundance upon our nation in unprecedented ways. Some are saying that God is positioning our nation to be a lender to many and it may be that this will happen as the result of our leaders encountering the life and presence of the Spirit in their own lives.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

When Answers Come...

I've been incredibly blessed over the past few days. On Monday evening I was a guest at Colwood Pentecostal Church's ladies prayer night. Because of my former involvement with the church as a staff person, I've known some of these ladies for ... a few years (sooner or later, you've got to stop counting...) It was an amazing night. These ladies know how to pray and touch heaven! They shared scripture, prophetic insight and prayed with regard to some very specific requests that I had shared with them as well. What I thought might be 20 minutes turned into about 2 hours, but it was worth every second. I left feeling encouraged, strengthened and renewed.

On Tuesday, I spent a few hours at the Legislature praying and listening to the debate. I was so impressed by Corky Evans and his speech that I sent him an email last night. He had some great material and insight, but it was his presentation that really caught my attention. I could hear his passion for people, our province and the environment. I'm convinced that MLA's really want to make a difference and lead our province to a better and brighter future. In the prayer that morning, there was a line that said something about "help us to lead in such a way that prosperity is shared by everyone and not just a few". I think that's how Jesus wants it to be.

Because I'd been away since Saturday, I took an early flight home but was blessed to have lunch with Pastor Dan and Susan MacLean from Victoria Miracle Centre before I left town. These are incredible people who are down to earth and very real. They shared some amazing stories of what God has done in their church. We don't always understand the why behind signs and wonders (sometimes they just make you wonder...) but they thrill us just the same. I enjoyed my time with them tremendously and look forward to getting to know them more when we re-locate to Victoria later this year. As we finished lunch, Pastor Dan handed me a generous cheque as an expression of their support of the vision. I'm so grateful that people who are only getting to know us and the ministry are responding to the leading of the Holy Spirit in this way.

This weekend, I'm in Kelowna at Rutland Gospel Tabernacle with Pastor Ted Bonk. I'm looking forward to being there!

Have a good one!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Great Day

This was great day! For the first time in a month, our family was in church together as we worshipped with Burnaby Chinese Pentecostal Church. We had met the church at Christmas time when I spoke for their winter retreat. These are amazing people who love God and each other. It was so awesome to worship in bilingual context (Cantonese and English...) today. It made me think of what heaven must be like as people from every language group worship together around the throne. How exciting to see a church bridge generational, cultural and language gaps all for the sake of worship.

Before the service began, the soundman offered me their wireless microphone. Tyler asked me if that thing would change my words to Chinese when I spoke. It was pretty cute, but you've got to admire his thinking. It's a pretty neat idea.

I'm currently in Victoria for a few days. I've got some appointments booked here over the next few days and am looking forward to seeing what interesting surprises God has prepared in advance for me.

I'll keep you posted!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Encouraging Signs....

We've got about 100 people on our email group who are participating in praying for our MLA's on a daily basis. The way it works is that you go to the ministry website , click on the mla prayer calendar , click again on the day of the month and pray for the MLA and their riding. At this point, it's all pretty simple, we just ask people to pray for wisdom, strength, grace and courage for each member and then to follow the Holy Spirit and allow Him to lead them as they pray for the riding. If this is something new to you, it's really just a matter of stopping and asking the Lord how to pray or to help you to pray.

If you check into the calendar, you'll know that it wasn't changed over from February until about noon yesterday. I had at least 3 emails asking when it would be up and going because people were eager to pray. I love the fact that people are eager to pray and press in!

I get the sense that something very exciting will come out of this prayer intitiative that will be key to revival sweeping our province and nation!

If my people will humble themselves and pray ... I will HEAR from heaven and HEAL their land!

You can join the team of 10,000 prayer warriors by sending an email to asking us to add your name to the list or by clicking the "add me to this list" button on the prayer calendar. You'll get an email from us saying that you've been added to the list and will then begin to receive bi-weekly emails from us about what's happening in the ministry, what God is doing and how you can be a part. We'd love to have you join us!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

What's that smell??

It's been a while since I've posted anything about my family on the blog, but this was just too good to pass up. If you've been checking in for a while, you'll know that our dog had puppies in January and that it's been a bit like Petland at our house. The last of the puppies left on Saturday. That means that Zoe (our yellow lab...) is VERY DUE for a bath.

When I walked past her the other day, I looked at her and said "You smell!" Tyler (our youngest - 9) turned around and said, no Dad, it's me. I haven't had a bath in a long time!

Needless to say - he had one shortly after!!

Thanks for checking in. It means a lot to know you are there!