Monday, November 26, 2007

The Sounds of Sunday

As I was walking home from church on Sunday afternoon, I couldn't help but enjoy the sounds that I was hearing. The sunshine was the icing on the cake and just added to the entire experience.

I preached at Church of Our Lord yesterday. This is the church where my office is located so it was kind of like preaching at home, even though we've never been there on a Sunday before. Their early service is contemporary and has a coffee house feel to it. The band (The World's Most Dangerous Worship Band) was fantastic and I really enjoyed worshiping with them. Their second service is very liturgical and formal, complete with pipe organ and choir. I've never been a part of a service like that, but I found it rich and satisfying. The sound of an actual pipe organ, combined with the beauty of the stained glass and the majestic singing was very inspiring and pointed me towards heaven. I preached in an elevated pulpit which was also something new for me. It was certainly different than my usual roaming and chatting style, but it was amazing to preach from a pulpit that was 130 years old. I actually sat in 'The Douglas Pew' that was donated and used by Sir James Douglas until his death. James Douglas was the first Governor of the colony of Vancouver Island.

As I walked home, I heard the Carillon begin to play. I didn't recognize the melody, but it was beautiful. As the song finished, a bagpiper began to play the refrain of Amazing Grace. As I rounded the corner of the Legislature, the bagpipes faded from hearing and I overheard a couple discussing whether or not you had to pay for parking. The gentleman was telling the woman that 'It's the Lord's Day and they don't make you pay on the Lord's day.' I'm not sure when I last heard someone say 'The Lord's Day', but I gave thanks that you don't have to pay to park on His day.

After lunch we watched the Grey Cup. The room was full of sound. Mostly cheers and groans as we cheered the Roughriders on to victory. (I realize I should be a Lions fan, but forsaking the Riders would just be wrong. For the record, I am a long suffering fan and I do want emphasize suffering, even though they won it all this year!)

I preached last night at the Victoria Miracle Centre. I had a great time and was reminded that you can't limit God to a particular model of ministry. He was there, live and in person! And it was very good.

The sounds of Sunday were rich and rewarding. I'm glad I heard them and was able to enjoy it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

DVD Project Update

Hi Everyone - We are making great progress on our DVD project. We need $2000 to make it happen and we currently have $900 in hand with approximately $500 pledged for early next week. This is amazing to me, but also speaks volumes about your belief in what we are doing. If you are wondering what's going on, see the comments from my last post.

We need to see the balance for the project come in ASAP so that we can place our order and distribute the DVD's without the additional cost of mailing them. If you'd like to be a participate, a DVD costs approximately $25. You can give by going to

Thanks again.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chapel Report

"To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all you are able to ask or think or imagine..."

I would not have dared to imagine that God would have done something as big and amazing as what He did this morning. At 9:00 AM 30 MLA's and support staff gathered to pray for their peers who are sick and facing enormous medical challenges. One important committee recessed so that the members could participate in this very important time.

I chose to focus on the theme of God's grace for the morning. While we often think of God's grace as being available to help us in our time of need, His grace is also given to empower us to fulfill what He has put in our hearts to do.

I wasn't sure what to expect when we provided an opportunity for people to pray publicly for their peers. It was silent for a moment and then they began to pray. It was exciting to listen to them. One huge lesson is that in spite of political differences, these people really care about each other.

While it's often said, we literally felt the prayers of hundreds of people across the country. Men's, women's, student and special prayer groups lifted us before our Father in Heaven and the result was tangible. I'm told that the conference call was exciting as people prayed collectively and used technology in a very exciting way.

This has been an exhilarting experience and only the beginning of what God has in store for our province and our nation. Thanks for praying and standing with us.

There was a genuine sense of God's presence with us today and we felt the prayers of people across the country. I'll write something more later, but I wanted to get this out to you ASAP.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Labor Day in November!

There's a great prairie tradition. It's called the Labor Day Classic and if you've ever lived in Saskatchewan, you'll know what I'm talking about. The LDC happens on the Sunday of the Labor Day weekend when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The game is always sold out and is the biggest game of the year in SK. Until this year... because in 2007, Labor Day comes in November in Toronto!

I love the idea that Winnipeg and Saskatchewan are in the Grey Cup. I doubt that it's ever happened before but it will feature one of the best rivalries in the league. It might not be so good for the CFL in terms of a TV audience, but I'm guessing that hundreds of farmers sold a steer or a truckload of something today and started driving east for the big game. It's entirely possible that Saskatchewan's 5th largest city will be at the SkyDome this weekend.

I realize that there are probably more important things to write about today but... THE RIDERS ARE GOING TO THE GREY CUP!! This means nothing to most people in BC or other places, especially since the Lions aren't going, but let me put this in context for you.

Through an act of kindness about 30 years ago a cousin took me to my first CFL football game. It was at Taylor Field in Regina. I saw the Saskatchewan Roughriders play the Calgary Stampeders. Something happened to me that day. I became (for better or worse) a Rider fan. This has been a long and tearfilled journey. Like most fans, I hoped, believed and was then disappointed. My father in law said that Rider football and farming have a lot in common, they both leave you wanting something more. I'd have to agree.

Yesterday, we did something that I always thought would be fun. We went to the CFL Western Final and as it would happen, Saskatchewan was playing BC. Zack and Tyler (our sons) came along with us. They are Lions fans (being born in BC and all...) I went to the game hoping but fearful. Once I got inside I decided to throw caution to the wind and go for it, regardless of what happened. My decision was quickly rewarded after an early touchdown by Saskatchewan and a sputtering BC offence that couldn't get it going. I was nearly delerious at half time with the Riders still in the lead. Barb and I were smiling and high fiving. The boys were... patient but still holding on to the dream of a Lions win.

As the clock started to wind down in the 4th quarter it was pretty clear that there would be no miracle in BC Place for the Lions. While about 40,000 fans left early, we celebrated a SK win! What's most remarkable is that Tyler somehow became an SK fan (bandwagon only I'm sure...)

Zack says he'll be cheering for Winnipeg. I'm not sure why anyone would cheer for Winnipeg...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

When God's People Pray

Twelve people from across Victoria met at our office space to pray for the ministry and the upcoming Chapel service at the Legislature. While we know there are many people who pray for us across the province (and across the country), it was exciting to spend a morning with some who have prayed for me and what God has called us to do for a long time. If this group is any indication, we have an awesome team of people who know how to reach heaven.

There's something fascinating that happens when you align yourself with God's heart and Word. Simpy put, heaven comes down. I've been blessed to be in some great prayer meetings, but this was simply amazing. It was tremendously humbling to hear them pray for Barb and I as we serve God in this very unique area of ministry. It was absolutely thrilling to hear them pray for our MLA's and to know that God was hearing and responding. We prayed for wisdom. We prayed for miracles. We prayed for God's blessing on their lives, just like the bible says we should.

"Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, and for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence." 1 Tim 2:1,2 NKJV

When we prayed for the chapel service, we prayed for something more than just a feel good service. We want people to feel good, but we really want them to experience God at work in their lives because they were there.

I can't wait to see how this will turn out, and I can't wait to tell you...

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What do you do when it doesn't rain

Rain, or at least the lack of it won't be a problem here in Victoria over the next few days, but that's a lot different Atlanta. This is from the Yahoo News site.

What to do when the rain won't come? If you're Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, you pray.
The governor will host a prayer service next week to ask for relief from the drought gripping the Southeast.
"The only solution is rain, and the only place we get that is from a higher power," Perdue spokesman Bert Brantley said on Wednesday. Perdue's office has sent out invitations to leaders from several faiths for the service, set for Tuesday.

Perdue has several times mentioned the need for prayer — along with water conservation — as the state's drought crisis has worsened. Over the summer, he participated in day of prayer for agriculture at a gathering of the Georgia Farm Bureau in Macon, Ga.

Perdue, a Baptist, has enjoyed strong support from Georgia's Christian conservatives.
The Southeast has been suffering from an intense drought in recent months that has threatened supplies of drinking water. Georgia has been locked in a battle with Alabama and Florida over how much water should be sent downstream from the state's dwindling reservoirs.
Governors from the three states reached a temporary agreement after meeting with Bush administration officials in Washington.

The prayer service will be held outside the state Capitol on Tuesday. Unless, of course, it rains.
"Then we'll move it inside, thankfully," Brantley said.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Another one of THOSE days...

Monday was a fantastic day! Barb and I were hosting the ID School of Ministry class from Bible Truth Church in Kamloops and I spent the morning sharing and teaching a course for them. After lunch we went to the Legislature for Question Period. While there, I made contact (via waving and hand signals) with an MLA. (He was doing the waving, I was just nodding as I grasped what he was saying.)

After the session we went to his office where he told me that he had some work for me. There are currently 4 MLA's encountering significant health challenges and he felt that a prayer meeting would be in order. As a result we scheduled a chapel service to meet together with his colleagues to pray for their peers.

As you might appreciate, I am thrilled about this development as it is what I have been waiting for. Although I am concerned for the MLA's who are encountering sickness and health challenges, I am convinced that God wants to do something spectacular for them as well as for those who care about them. The next few days will be busy making arrangements and plans for that time together.

I'll be sending specifics as to how you can participate via our email list. If you would like to be a part of that group, please use the link to the right to be added to our list.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A Pittance of Time

In honor of Remembrance Day. Buy a poppy, go to a service, thank a vet (an elderly one appreciates it the most...) take a minute and watch the video

Friday, November 02, 2007

Prayer Bulletin

Victoria, BC - November 2, 2007 - From the Vancouver Province

Sindi Hawkins, deputy speaker of the B.C. legislature and Kelowna-Mission MLA, is again battling acute myeloid leukemia. In a brief statement yesterday, Premier Gordon Campbell said Hawkins was admitted to hospital for treatment this week. "Sindi will be on medical leave for the duration of the treatment required, which includes chemotherapy and a subsequent bone-marrow transplant," Campbell said.
Hawkins, 48, was first diagnosed with leukemia in January 2004, and received a life-saving bone-marrow transplant from her younger sister, Seema, a few months later.

She wrote a diary in The Province during her ordeal. Her cancer has been in remission for the past three years. "She has told me she feels fortunate that her sister, Seema, is a perfect match and will be her bone-marrow donor once more," Campbell said. Campbell said Hawkins told him: "I am ready and strong. I fought this thing before and won and I know I can do it again. My medical team and the B.C. Cancer Agency is one of the best in the world and I am confident that I am in good hands. Please keep me in your prayers." Hawkins is requesting privacy, but will try to write weekly updates on her website, "Sindi, and patients like her, require a lot of blood products over the course of their blood-cancer treatments," Campbell said. "She has requested that you consider becoming a blood donor." In 2005, Canadian Blood Services honoured Hawkins for her work in support of blood and marrow donation in B.C.
Acute myeloid leukemia is a potentially fatal cancer that mostly starts in the bone marrow, where new blood cells are made. It can spread to the lymph nodes, liver, spleen, brain and spinal cord. The drop in blood cells can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, easy bruising and bleeding, and increased risk of infection. It is treated with chemotherapy and bone-marrow transplants.