Happy New Year! Like a lot of people, this is the time of year where I like to reflect on what has been and look forward to what I believe can happen over the coming year. 2013 was a year of growth, surprises and challenges. In many ways, the year was better than anything I would have dared to hope, think or imagine.
On a personal level, 2013 was amazing! Barb and I celebrated our 25th anniversary. God has been good to us in the past 25 years. 3 fantastic kids, tremendous blessings on many fronts and we remain madly in love! I bought Barb a new ring with a bigger and better diamond to replace the one that accidentally got lost last Christmas. I ran 1000 miles. What's most surprising is that 3 years ago, I hadn't run 5kms in a year for many years! Running has been a tremendously good thing for me in so many ways.
On a ministry level, 2013 was nothing short of incredible! We launched two provinces (Alberta and Saskatchewan), ran a hugely successful prayer campaign during the BC election that resulted in approx. 15 Christians elected to serve as MLAs for the next 4 years. Today we care and lead prayer movements for over 220 MLAs in 3 provinces. It's an incredible privilege and honor!
Our plans for 2014 are to launch in Manitoba and Ontario. The size of the challenge in accomplishing those goals is a bit like eating an elephant. My good friend often reminds me that there's only one way to eat an elephant. You do it one bite at a time! That said, it's a lot of elephant and it will only be with God's help and grace that we will see our vision of providing pastoral ministry to provincial and federal political leaders across the country. The size of the vision remains a daunting challenge, but one that I am confident we will see fulfilled as we stay faithful to the call and cause.
I have two 'life verses' that shape my thinking and living.. The first is Jer. 29:11 - '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.' The second verse is Eph 3:20. I love the way the KJV presents it.. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us...'
These verses remind me of several things...
1) God is FOR me, not against me. (And if God is for me, who can be against me?)
2) God's plan is to PROSPER me. His plan is IMPROVE my situation and my circumstances. I know some people don't agree and want to spin the message to mean something else, but when the scriptures say He has a plan to prosper me, that's good enough for me....
3) God is always ABLE! This truth gives me hope that sustains me over and over again. Regardless of what I may see in front of me, God is always able to intervene.... and He is able to do it in dramatic and remarkable fashion.... 'exceedingly, abundantly above all we are able to ask or think...'
4) God always works in PARTNERSHIP! We see the fruit of God's plans and ability when we work in partnership with him. These things happen 'according to the power that works in us....' I love the fact that God is committed to a partnership with you and me. It keeps things 'real'! While He is always able, He chooses to engage us in a meaningful way in His incredible plan! What an amazing honor and privilege to partner with the ONE who is always able!
My prayer for you in 2014 is that you would experience the 'exceedingly abundant, above all we are able to ask or think...' goodness and blessing of God in 2014 as you partner with HIM in this coming year!