Friday, January 30, 2009

MissionsFest Vancouver - Day 1

Today is the first day of MissionsFest Vancouver.  This is the first year that we will have our own booth at this incredible gathering of missions agencies.  I should really be sleeping because this is going to be a long day, but I'm so excited and ready to just get going that I've been awake for an hour.  Barb and the kids are with me and the boys are up as well so it's not a quiet morning here as Barb tries to sleep.

We've got some goals for this weekend.  We want to add 750 names to our email list through a sign up incentive program.  The purpose for the names is to build a prayer network that will pray through our upcoming provincial election.  I am convinced that if we can mobilze people to pray and if we provide leadership and direction through an email/blog and facebook campaign, we can see God do something amazing in and for our province that could affect BC for years to come. 

God has a purpose and a plan for BC that can be accomplished in part through this election.  Given the current challenges, we need the right people in the right places more than ever.  Here's how you can be a part of what we are doing.  Visit and join our email list there.  You can also begin to pray for MLA's on a daily basis now by tracking with us on the praybc blog.  Finally, pray for us this weekend.  We are going to meet a lot of people who are going to resonate with what God has called us to do. Ask the Lord to give us favour with them and add them to our network.

Blessings on you!  BTW, if you are in the area, come see us at MissionsFest.  Our booth site is J8.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Prospering In Difficult Times

You might not know this about me, but I'm a glass 'half-full' guy.  I'm constantly looking for the silver lining and the hidden opportunity.  That being said, it's hard to pretend that there aren't some serious economic problems just about everywhere you look.  The problems are serious and they aren't going to go away quickly.  Aren't you glad that God is not affected by a recession, depression or any other economic term that might be applied to what we are currently experiencing.

I've been thinking about Jacob over the last few days.  You might remember that Jacob fell in love with a beautiful woman named Rachel and promised to work for her father for 7 years as part of the marriage arrangement.  If you are familiar with the history, you'll also know that Jacob's father in law (Laban) substituted for Leah for Rachel at the wedding and Jacob didn't notice until it was too late. Because he really wanted Rachel, he agreed to another 7 years (that makes 14...) to pay for the bride he wanted.  It sounds like a long time and it was especially because Jacob worked as a herdsman.  What made it even longer is that Laban didn't believe in fair play so he kept changing the rules of the arrangement which made it difficult for Jacob to get ahead. 

Eventually, Jacob gets Laban to agree on a deal regarding the herds that Jacob cares for.  Laban will get all of the solid colored animals, Jacob can have all of the streaked or spotted ones.  Laban's herd outnumbers Jacob's but God gives Jacob a strategy to prosper in spite of the obstacles around him.  God tells Jacob to peel branches and place them in the water trough.  When the ewes would come to drink and breed, the peeled branches would be directly before them.  It made no sense in the natural that solid colored animals would produce streaked and spotted offspring, but that's what began to happen as a result of Jacob following through on what God told him to do.  Jacob's herds grew to the point where they were larger than Laban's and Jacob was able to leave the unjust relationship.

Here's my point... I believe that God makes it possible for us to prosper and succeed, regardless of what the economy is doing if we do it His way.  My encouragement to you is to not be fearful in the midst of what is happening around us, but to keep your eyes fixed on Jesus and your ears open to the strategies and plans that He has for you.

'For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future.'  Jer 29:11

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Fear, Faith and Facing the Future

Depending on who you are, there's probably good reason to be afraid as we begin 2009. I heard that in addition to a 1 TRILLION dollar deficit the US Government is preparing a 700 BILLION dollar economic stimulus package. Our Prime Minister is openly using the word 'Depression' to describe the current economic situation. 200,000 Canadians are expected to lose their jobs in 2009.

There's a war in the Middle East (again), a new President in the US who everyone hopes will solve the world's problems (He won't and can't) and Russia is threatening to turn off the natural gas supply to the Ukraine. None of this sounds good. The news is so bad that just today, the family of one of the world's wealthiest men announced that he had ended his life by jumping in front of a train. Apparently the pain and pressure of losing millions in the last few months was more than he could bear. It's tragic, but it underscores a powerful reality. Many people are very afraid of what the future holds.

I am a believer. I believe that God is Big. God is Good and that ANYTHING can happen when we invite Him in. That's why I'm looking at 2009 with a sense of anticipation and expectancy. I am convinced that God has prepared surprises, opportunities, adventures and 'God moments' that go beyond anything that I have ever seen before. The God I know isn't limited by the economy, world events or changes in national or even world leadership. He's not intimidated by any of it. He is unchangeable, unshakable and unstoppable. He is in absolute and complete control and He is constantly working towards accomplishing His plans and purposes for His children.

I am convinced that 2009 belongs to those who believe. When I say that, I don't mean some kind of academic, cerebral recognition that God exists and is alive. I'm saying that 2009 belongs to those who are able to see past the obstacles, challenges and difficulties and into the realm of possibility and opportunity that can only be realized when we stop trying to fix, manipulate and control things with our own abilities, insight and wisdom. When we take our hands 'off', there's room for God to put His hand on whatever it is we are dealing with and in that moment, absolutely anything can happen.

The future is amazing when God is in it! Have a blessed and prosperous 2009!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Launching 2009

Given that this is Jan 3, I'm way overdue on posting something here. Sorry for the delay, but I've been putting a ton of energy into our new website to go live on the 1st. With some great help, we got it published a few days early. Click here to take a look.

I've also made some changes to the PrayBC blog. For the most part we only used it during elections and to promote the Provincial Prayer event in June. What we've done is provide a daily MLA profile and written prayer to make it easier for people to participate as we seek to build our prayer network. We are getting some great feedback thus far which is really encouraging.

I'll be sending out our first email blast of 2009 on Monday so watch for that. If you're not on our list, just click the link on this page to be added.

Have a great Sunday!!