Thursday, June 11, 2009

What a Week!

I am constantly amazed at the way God is working through Leading Influence Ministries and the doors that He continues to open. I’m tempted to say that this is perhaps the most exciting week of ministry that we had since coming to Victoria, but it’s so hard to say that because of the many other things we’ve seen God do through the ministry. I do think it’s safe to say that this week marks a significant coming of age for the ministry and that we are moving into some new and exciting territory.

Monday marked the return of MLA’s to the Legislature for the Swearing in Ceremony for both caucuses. I was privileged to be a guest at both events. It was exciting to see the many that have become friends take the oath of office and begin a 4 year term of service as an MLA. I attended the receptions following each event and found myself being greeted with warm hugs and handshakes and being introduced to new MLA’s as ‘Tim, our chaplain.’ I also met new MLA’s who are already Christians. One told me that when he took the oath, he held his father’s bible. His father was a pastor. I met another member who is a former Youth Pastor and is passionate about his faith. I’m thrilled that God has sent us believers to serve our Province as they serve Him on both sides of the Legislature.

Yesterday, I was invited to attend the Swearing In ceremony for the new Cabinet and Exectutive Council.  It was so exciting to see people that we have prayed for and have encouraged in a variety of ways being named to serve in a leadership capacity in our province.  Those who have been named will work hard and sacrifice many hours on behalf of the many people who are affected by the ministries they lead.  We believe that God has prepared each minister and the staff that surround them to be effective as they serve together.  Our role must be to continue to pray for them as they assume new responsibilities. 

While I didn't participate or expect that I would, I was reminded again that God has always been interested in leaders.  Leaders shape the agenda, direct the nation and set a course for the future.  That's why historically, God has surrounded leaders with those who carry His presence to be a source of encouragement and blessing to them.  While many strive for political agendas and action, I'm convinced that what matters more is to see our political leaders experience a spiritual transformation that is based on God's love and grace for them.   

This was also my first visit to Government House.  If you come to Victoria, you really should visit the grounds that are always open to the public.  It's a beautiful and peaceful spot.  If you ever get the chance to be invited to Government House for a function, you should go.  You won't be disappointed.

Thanks for praying for us.  You are making a difference as we move forward!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

I Can Do All Things ...

One day, a son asks his dad "Daddy, would you like to run a marathon with me?". The father says "yes". And they run their first marathon together.

Another time, the son asks his dad again "Daddy, would you like to run a marathon with me?".  The father says "yes son".

One day, the son asks his father " Daddy, would you run the Ironman with me?  " The Ironman is the most difficult triathlon ever (4 kms swimming, 180 kms bikin, 42 km running?)

And the dad says "yes".  The story looks simple until you watch the following clip. Just amazing…

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ringing The Bell

My office is in the oldest church building in Victoria.  It is a beautiful heritiage building complete with a pipe organ, stained glass, steeple and ... a bell.  The bell is orginal to the building.  That said, the neighbourhood around the church has changed considerably since the bell was installed.  What used to be open spaces, farming and later bus parking lots has become densely populated.  In the two years since I've been here 3 condo developments have been completed with 50 M of the building and that doesn't include the 2 more that are only a few years older. 

When I arrived this morning, the bell was ringing as a reminder and invitation to those in the area that the mid week morning prayer and communion service was about to begin.  The bell is effective, but it is not necessarily melodious. It's sound is not nearly is melodious as the Carillon around the corner or the ferry horn that sounds on entrance to the harbour. 

The sound of the bell bounces of the newly constructed building to create something of an 'alarm clock' resonnance.  As I gathered my things from the car, I couldn't help but wonder what the people in new condos thought of the ringing bell.  As that thought went through my mind, something occurred to me that I think is profound.  The first is obvious.  This church has been standing for 135 years.  When it was built, there wasn't much else here.  The Empress, the Crystal Garden and the Legislature didn't even exist on paper when it was established.  Emily Carr and her family attended here as did many other Victoria pioneers.  In my mind, the church and it's ringing bell have the benefit of being here first and so the bell should continue to ring as often as necessary.

My second thought is that this church serves as a metaphor for our changing world.  So much has changed in our world and yet the message and values of the church must remain constant and the ringing of the bell, melodious or otherwise must continue to be heard.  The ringing must be an invitation to the discovery or re-discovery of spiritual foundations that never falter or fail, to hope that is eternal and to the promises of love, joy and grace.