Thursday, May 29, 2008

Final Day of Spring Session

Today marked the final day of the spring session of the Legislature. It was also a special day for us as we hosted 12 ladies and one gentleman from a number of Prayer Canada chapters in Metro Vancouver. They have weekly prayer meetings in City Halls. We had a fantastic time together as we visted, shared lunch and then spent the afternoon at the Legislature. We are very indebted to the ministry of Prayer Canada as they have prayed for our municipal and provincial governments for many years.

While we were having lunch I was able to prepare them for what they would see at Question Period. Given that this was the last day of the session, QP was going to be more raucous than usual and I wanted them to know what to expect. Some people think that what happens at Question Period is what happens every day all day. It's not true. Question Period is really a 30 minute window where the Opposition is able to set the agenda and ask the government any question that they choose. However, both sides go into QP with the understanding that it's not really about getting answers but more about political posturing and if you are lucky, saying something that will get you on the 6 PM news or into tomorrow's paper. (Of course, the goal for the government is to avoid being on the news or in the paper because of what happened during QP.)
One day our youngest son (10) leaned over and asked me why they don't just answer the question. I shared his question with a Cabinet minister and an Opposition MLA. Both gave me the same answer. They said 'Tell him it's not called Answer Period."

There are too many names (and not enough time...) to remember everyone who was there, but thanks to Leona for putting the trip together, to Selma for the kind gift, and to everyone else who came. It was a delight to have you join me for the day. I also want to say thanks to Susan, Rina and the kitchen crew from the Cridge Club who provided us with lunch.

For the benefit of those who might be interested in seeing one of the more interesting Question Period sessions from the spring, I'm including a link to the BC Legislature site. If you are in a hurry, the last 10 minutes give you an idea of what politics in BC looks like when the gloves really come off... Pour a cup of coffee, click the link and enjoy ....

Monday, May 26, 2008

Eleven Things You Won't Learn at School

This came to me from a friend....

Love him or hate him, he sure hits the nail on the head with this! Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.

Rule 1: Life is not fair - get used to it!

Rule 2 : The world won't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.

Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.

Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.

Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.

Rule 6: If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault, so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.

Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.

Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life. Rule

9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.

Rule 10: Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.

Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

May Long Weekend

Just a quick update. I've got some serious stuff perking for the blog, but I'm told by at least one lurker that she prefers the family stuff over what I think is profound. One day she might even post a comment but for now she lurks in the background...

Anyway... our boys are in a baseball tournament this weekend. Actually it's only supposed to be Zack, but the team only had 9 players yesterday and one guy missed the ball on a strange hop and got hit right below his eye. He couldn't finish the game last night but was able to play today. The coaches asked Tyler to dress for them so we had the pleasure of watching both boys play today and for the rest of the weekend. Zack got on base 2 times (once on a walk, once because he was hit) and he came in one time. Tyler came off the bench late in the game and played centre field. He made a few strong plays defensively and hit twice. He was walked the first time. He tried to steal home on his first at bat and almost made it. The bat was dropped in the batters box and he slid over it on the way into home plate. He struck out on his second at bat. (The whole team was struck out by a 13 year old who was amazing...) He's very excited about playing this weekend and we are too.

This afternoon, they did a skills competition. It was so much fun as the boys did relays and then finished the competition with a home run derby. The first batter hit it out of the park 3 of 5 times and won it all. Zack and Tyler were on a pass/throw relay that they really enjoyed and came in a close third (missed second place by .2 of a second...)

Barb and I look like lobsters. The breeze was cool enough that you didn't realize you were getting burned. It's the first really nice weekend here so we weren't really thinking about sunburns. I'm hoping it turns to a tan.

This week we celebrate 20 years of marriage. We've got some plans for next weekend... :-)

Monday, May 12, 2008

PrayBC Continues to Grow

It started with a simple question. ‘What if the Church in BC came together to stand in the gap as a people of blessing?’ What would be the impact of thousands of people joining together in worship and prayer celebrations all across our province? We wanted to find out and so we launched ‘PrayBC’.

Here’s what’s happening so far. As I write this article, we know of at least 12 communities that are committed to hosting PrayBC celebrations. We know of many more that are in the process of coming on board as well.

As you might know, this is BC’s 150th Anniversary. As a result the Provincial Government is encouraging a variety of community groups to host community events to mark this very special point in our history. We see PrayBC as an excellent opportunity for churches to use as a way to celebrate our 150th anniversary. There is no registration and all of our professionally developed resources are available for free. All we ask is that communities register with us and receive an offering to help us cover our costs at their event. We believe that we will see over 30 communities join the PrayBC team.

For more information visit or call our office to speak directly with someone who can help you.

Prayer Breakfast Report

We held our second MLA Prayer Breakfast on May 1st. Just over 70 people joined us for the morning. It was exciting to watch our MLA’s, partners and friends come together for a morning of encouragement, affirmation, fellowship and prayer.

The breakfast was held at the Union Club of British Columbia. It is a beautiful venue and serves our purposes very well. We are thrilled to be able to use it. Our speaker for the morning was former NHL player and Stanley Cup winner, Ryan Walter. In addition to telling a few hockey stories, Ryan did an amazing job of sharing how he came to Christ and put his ‘inner game’ on the right track so that his ‘outer game’ would become everything that God intended it to be. We highly recommend Ryan as a guest speaker. We are already making plans to have him back with us for another event this fall.

As we were planning the breakfast, there was a real sense that it was important for us to include some young people as part the program. We became aware of a Next Generation Prayer for Authorities that was written by a group of young people from North Western BC. We were able to put a copy at every place setting and Noah Bolinder, a student from Victoria prayed the prayer publicly. It was moving and inspiring for everyone present. There isn’t enough room to print it here, but I’ve posted it on the ministry website and you can find it there on the ’Event Archive’ page.
We know that we had many friends and partners praying for us as we planned, prepared and presented the breakfast and we want you to know that people were blessed, strengthened and encouraged. It was a great day and you helped make it that way!

Thanks for standing with us.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Prayer Breakfast Report - What MLA's are saying...

Here are some comments coming from our Prayer Breakfast last week. I'm witholding the names of those who shared these things, but it's pretty exciting to see the impact that we are having on the lives of those who lead us.

This comment was made during debate at the Legislature during the week of May 5th. I found it by accident but it made my day!!
I'm touched every year by the prayer breakfast. There was one just last
week. The thought that there were people who were praying for the leadership
of the province…. I've got to tell you, it's a kind of moving and emotional
I'm not necessarily convinced the Bible requires us to be prayed for,
but the concept that people pray that we do good work here, to assist
us in doing good work is a wonderful thing. It gives one a sense of
community, and it encourages us to value what we do here — the honour and
the privilege it is to serve in positions of leadership, whether you're in
the opposition or the government back bench or you're in cabinet or you're
the Premier of the province. What we do here is important.”

This came from a card I received in the mail.

'As an MLA I would like to thank you and Leading Influence
Ministries for being so supportive and encouraging. My community
has had a similar prayer breakfast for years and as elected officials we
always appreciate such support and guidance. Please keep up the good

I'm really humbled to see what God is doing and how He is doing it. Our commitment is to continue to serve and be a blessing to those God has called to serve our province in this way. We know that as we do, God will continue to open more doors of opportunity.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Visiting Ontario

I grew up in Ontario. Admittedly, it was North Western Ontario and we lived closer to Regina than Toronto, but I did grow up in Ontario. I'm back for a week visiting my sister, preaching for a friend and then speaking at our National Pastor's Conference.

On Monday, I visited Queens Park otherwise known as the Ontario Legislature. I had looked forward to this part of my visit. I absolutely believe that the MPP's in Ontario need the same kind of pastoral ministry that we are establishing in BC. I went to pray, observe and quite literally to put my feet on the ground as a prophetic and symbolic act.

Serving and reaching the MPP's in Ontario is critical to our vision. While it might be hard to take for those of us in other parts of Canada, the reality is that Ontario and Toronto really shape so much of our national culture that it's critical that the key spheres of influence in this province be reached with the love, life and transforming grace of Jesus Christ.

My hotel room was on the 18th floor and I had a fantastic view of the Skydome and the CN Tower. As I was getting ready I found myself praying and making proclamations regarding this city. I'm convinced that God has a plan for Toronto and Ontario and that as His purposes and plans for Toronto are fulfilled, He will redeem the media, commerce, entertainment, the arts and government and then use them as a catalyst to transform our nation at every level.

For some of you, this might be an enormous stretch, but the bible is clear that God loves cities and that He loves to transform them. Canada cannot be transformed without Toronto and Toronto can only be transformed as we reach it's leaders and influencers.

I have a dream...

Monday, May 05, 2008

From Toronto

Hi Everyone - greetings from the 18th floor of the Hilton in Toronto. (Relax, I got a screaming deal on that cost me less than staying at Super 8) I'm in Toronto attending a conference for a few days. Yesterday I preached for someone I really admire. His name is Murray Lincoln. Murray is an amazing person who I see as a real trail blazer and pioneer. In addition to being a fantastic pastor and leader, he's also a carver, handyman and writer. I'm posting a link to his latest blog post. I hope you enjoy it.