Friday, February 29, 2008

Taking Possession

We took possession of our new house a few weeks ago. It's been an exciting time as we watched God make a way for us. I've been thinking about the number of times 'asking' was involved in the process. We asked God to give us a house that would meet our needs and that we could afford. We asked a realtor to help us. We asked the owner to accept our offer. We asked a lender to provide the funding. We asked a lawyer to handle the transaction. We asked friends for their help as we chose colors, laid flooring, built cabinets, packed and then loaded and unloaded the truck. Thankfully, everyone along the way said yes and we spent our first night in our new house last night. (I'll post some pictures after the counter tops arrive and the boxes are emptied.)

I've started reading through the Psalms this past week. I found these words in Ps. 2. 'Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession.' These are not new words for me, but this time they took on a fresh significance especially as I reflected on our house transaction. There were no guarantees that anyone would say 'YES' to us. At any point along the way, someone could have said 'no' to our request and we would have had to find a new way or another way to make that happen.

What I find most amazing in Ps. 2 is that God invites us to ask. 'Ask of Me' and then He gives us a guaranteed response. (... and I will give you the nations for your inheritance and the ends of the earth for your possession.) Any of God's promises are amazing but the scope of this promise is astounding to me. The idea of God granting nations to His people who have the faith to ask and the courage to follow through on taking possession of that nation by His Spirit rather than by petition and protest is simply amazing to me.

Sometimes we dream about 'what if' scenarios. 'What if God were to give us the nation, our province, our city, our school or our town?' The possibilities are amazing. Sadly we too often stop there, rather than pressing through to possess the promise that God has made to us. Sometimes the message of the naysayers who tell us that it can't be done overtakes God's promise that says He will do it. James tells us that 'faith without works is dead'. Possessing the nation takes more than praying and making prophetic declarations. It requires going and serving within the spheres of influence that shape our province and communities. As we move forward with humility and grace, our nation will be changed and we will see the fulfillment of the promise.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Update Coming

For those of you who are wondering if I've dropped off the face of the earth, I am still here. It's been extremely busy between travel, the Legislature and preparing to move to our new house and so there hasn't been a lot of time to blog.

That being said, watch for an email blast coming out tomorrow.

March Chapel Service

I've been asked to lead our second chapel service at the Legislature on March 13. The feedback from our first service was tremendous and it's thrilling to be invited back for a second time. The first service was successful because of the amazing prayer support that we had all across the province as people prayed for us before and during the actual service.

There are several ways that you can participate with us. If you live in the Victoria area, you are welcome to join us at our office space. We will meet to pray between 8:45 and 10:00 AM.

If you live outside the Victoria area, we invite you to join our conference call prayer meeting that will take place from 8:45 to 9:45. You must register for this call . The call is free. If you have a speaker phone, you may want to invite several people to join you in prayer for this service.

The View From the Gallery

I was reminded of an important truth yesterday afternoon during Question Period. The questions addressed the usual themes of Education, Health Care, Children, Transportation and the sale of BC Rail. Both the questions and answers were accompanied by the usual thumping of desks and heckling. Both sides recognize that it's not called 'Answer Period' and so the questions and general avoidance of anwers is simply understood as part of the normal routine.

What made yesterday unique was the man who came in and sat down beside me. During one series of questions and answers about the very sad situation of a developmentally challenged young man, he became quite emotional and began to weep. It wasn't hard to see that he was somehow very closely connected to the situation and that the concern and frustration involved was taking it's toll on him. I was (and still am...) moved for this man and the situation. He left before I could speak with him or pray with him, but I spent the rest of the afternoon thinking about him and praying for him and the people involved.

I don't think it's possible to craft the perfect policy that will ensure that no one falls through the cracks or finds themselves outside the guidelines that provide access to benefits. We are dealing with people and the variables are endless. At the same time, we (our society) must care for the weak, challenged and struggling among us.

COMPASSION rather than SMUGNESS over policy successes or political ideology needs to become what matters most. My prayer for members on both sides of the house is that their commitment to public service would extend to a commitment to humility. It seems to me that the price for admitting a policy or strategic mistake needs to be something less than a cry for a ministerial resignation.

"He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NIV

This situation underlines the incredible challenge involved in leading our province. Those who serve as elected leaders need wisdom, courage,strength, and humility as they make the key decisions that affect millions of people on a daily basis. They need our prayer support as they do their best to serve their constituents.