I Just Wanna Testify…

I just wanna testify…

Today has been a big day for me.  For the first time ever, I’ve been given a full access pass to a legislature/parliament precinct.  It came courtesy of an MP who wanted to make my life easier in Ottawa.  I am very grateful.

The pass gives me access… it allows me to place my foot in every hallway and office that will open it’s door to me.  And because I believe that God really is giving me every place I set my foot, this pass is symbolic of God’s faithfulness and his ‘making a way’ for me.

I don’t feel like I’ve reached the pinnacle of my journey, there’s still so much to do, but it feels like by God’s grace, I’ve reached a marker today.

Leading Influence began as ‘the idea that wouldn’t go away’ almost 16 years ago. To say I went running towards God’s plan would be a lie.  There were heel marks in the sand and He used a series of painful experiences to make obedience very appealing to me. 

The cost has been enormous.  I spent 4 years commuting to Toronto for 2/3 weeks at a time to establish the ministry at Queens Park.  It was hard to be away from home, but that sacrifice is paying huge dividends today. God is always faithful!

Today has given me time to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned on this journey. 

I’ve watched God make something out of nothing.  I’ve learned that nothing is impossible.  I’ve learned that there’s more power in an obedient yes than there is in all of the obstacles that I’ve seen along the way.

I’ve learned that waiting time isn’t wasting time and that God works on His timetable as opposed to mine.  (I spent my first 8 years wondering if this was ever going to be more than me in BC.)

I’ve learned that the road forward is to add people to your team that are brighter and better than you are. 

I’ve learned that God is good … and merciful and generous and faithful beyond anything that I could ask or imagine or think!

I’ve learned that the dreams God puts in our hearts bring us unfathomable joy if we are willing to pursue what He puts before us.

Testimony done… someone can take up the offering! 🙂

Doing Better

B.C. top doctor Bonnie Henry says she's received abuse, death threats  during COVID-19 response | The Star

BC’s beloved (and that’s not an overstatement) Dr. Bonnie Henry disclosed that she’d been the recipient of hate mail, personal attacks and death threats earlier this week. The threats were severe enough that she was assigned a protection team. She said that women are especially vulnerable, targeted and affected by this behaviour in her view. Current MP’s The Hon. Catherine McKenna and Michelle Remple and former Premiers Christy Clark and Kathleen Wynne would agree.

We live in toxic times. Our world has become more polarized than I’ve ever known it to be. Sadly, we’ve lost the ability to disagree politely and respectfully. We’ve made people we disagree with our enemies. It’s not likely to get better with election season in America, BC and Saskatchewan upon us.

It’s one thing for people who don’t identify as Christian to carry on in this manner. Still, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to determine who is following Jesus and who isn’t, based on what appears in my social media feed. 

Think about this for a moment. If ‘the mouth speaks what the heart is full of’ (Jesus, Lu 6:45), we are losing our way. We can do much, much better, and we need to start being better now.

I’m not calling for silence. I’m calling for something more potent than the most well worded social media post. Protest the policy, if that’s what you want to do. Do it respectfully and thoughtfully. After that, I’m calling for you to pray for the person whose policy you are protesting. Do it purposefully and powerfully!

Some see prayer as ‘soft’ and ‘nice,’ an option that you pull out when nothing else is working. We need to rediscover the potency of effectual praying – especially when praying for our leaders. The world isn’t going to change because we’ pile on’ in the latest argument that is happening in our social media feed. These fruitless debates don’t change anyone’s mind. The power of focused and fervent prayer, however, can change everything. 

Our chaplain team sees the impact of prayers for political leaders regularly. Hearts change, lives change, relationships change, policy changes, and the list goes on.

Here’s an opportunity to become prayerfully proactive today. Leading Influence has just launched our PrayCanada network. We’ll be praying for several MPs by name each day. Our team of prayer writers have worked hard to craft meaningful, individualized prayers for each MP. Visit www.praycanada.com or the PrayCanada FB/Insta pages.

If you live in BC or SK, we are leading Election Prayer Campaigns for your respective province. We provide a daily prayer that’s focused on a particular aspect of the election. Check out praybc.com or praysk.com to get the prayer by email or like the PrayBC or PraySK pages on social media. 

Be Kind. Be Calm. Pray Hard. We can do this!

Mission Impossible

ᐈ Mission impossible stock vectors, Royalty Free cool motorcycle ...

Even if you’ve never watched a Mission Impossible movie, you’ve undoubtedly heard someone say this somewhere along the way:

              ‘Your mission…. should you choose to accept it.’ 

What followed was a description of something incredibly difficult that required a combination of courage, resourcefulness and resilience. It also required running fast, riding motorcycles, jumping out of planes or off tall buildings and probably getting shot at!

I’ve been watching and hearing the messaging about our response to COVID-19. The familiar refrain is ‘stay safe.’ It’s good advice, but the packaging is problematic.

Here’s why:

‘Stay Safe’ is rooted in a fear/fortress mentality. It communicates a ‘hunker down until this is over and hope you don’t die along the way’ approach. There’s truth in ‘stay safe,’ but the fear message enforces a negative thought pattern that eventually impacts your mental health and personal well being, even as you wash your hands ten times/day, sanitize everything around you and stay home because of the scary virus outside.

To be clear, I’m not advocating that you ignore the prescribed protocols and government expectations at this time. What I’m saying is that thinking about this from a different perspective could be a game-changer for you and your mental health.  

In this morning’s briefing (April 1), the Prime Minister spoke about a collective call to service in the COVID-19 battle and drew the connection the generation that served and sacrificed during WW2. In those days, Canada came together like never before around the shared mission of supporting the war effort. It’s a good picture of what needs to happen today.

Mission brings a sense of purpose to our lives. We aren’t staying at home, washing our hands and sanitizing everything in sight because we are afraid. We are doing those things to keep other people safe. It’s the way we contribute to the current ‘war effort.’  

Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It Is To:

Stay at Home

Wash Your Hands

Practice Social Distancing

Avoid groups over 5

Save The World From COVID-19

Do this well and you might get a starring role in upcoming ‘Mission Impossible: The Sanitizers.’

The power of proper hand washing - Hamilton Health Sciences

National Day of Prayer re: Covid 19

There are times when our commonality is more important than our differences. This is one of those times. The crisis we face is real, with the potential to alter our world as we know it. We can live in a place of fear about what we see, or we can choose to see something different/better by faith. I prefer to live/see by faith because I know it has a better outcome than what happens when I live in fear.

President Trump has declared March 15 as a National Day of Prayer in response to the COVID 19 crisis. You may agree or disagree with Mr. Trump as a person and a leader. Still, this I know… remarkable, exceptional, stunning and miraculous things happen when leaders are willing to make room for God to work on behalf of the nation they lead.

Politics, personalities and policies aside, our world is in a difficult place. It’s also in a place where something tremendous can happen if the Church takes its place as priest and intercessor. We, and only we, can stand in the gap on behalf of our land… and when we do, we can expect God to respond remarkably.

Panicking is easy. Hoarding exposes the fearful selfishness of our hearts and spreading fear is as easy as ‘sharing’ something off your social media feed.

History shows us that praying changes everything!

Here are three things that you can pray for:
1) Pray for our leaders who are working hard to respond to this crisis. Ask God to give them wisdom, strength and courage to address this situation.

2) Pray for healthcare workers around the world who are working hard to care for those affected by this pandemic.

3) Pray Ps 91 over yourself, your family, your neighbours and co-workers.

4) Pray for a miraculous intervention that would stem the expansion and impact of this virus. Ask God to stop it in the same way plagues were stopped in the Bible. Nothing is impossible!!

James, the brother of Jesus wrote these words speaking to people just like you and me:

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. James 5:16

This moment calls for us to step into Elijah’s sandals and pray with the same kind of boldness, faith and authority that he did, because the stakes are just as high! Elijah’s prayer addressed an immediate need, but also set a national transformation in motion. God is not limited or intimidated by COVID 19. Nor is He powerless to do anything about it. Let’s invite Him into this in bigger and bolder ways than we ever have before.

You and I were made for this!

Breaking Free

godupdates 3 steps to break chains of addiction fb

I had been looking forward to Saturday for a long time. Just before I left home for twelve days in Ottawa, I traded off my motorcycle and upgraded into something a bit newer and with less risk of a costly repair. My new bike needed some customizing and so I left it at the dealer to be cared for while I was away.

Saturday dawned bright and clear, which was perfect because I planned to bring my motorcycle home from the dealership and spend the day riding. On the way to the dealership, I stopped to pick up a temporary operating permit at ICBC. While the agent was processing the paperwork, a friend (another motorcyclist) I haven’t seen for a long time smiled and waved from the lineup.

When I finished my business, I stopped to say hello and catch up. While we chatted, my friend told me that he had just completed six weeks in a treatment centre. While I knew that he had been through a difficult time personally, I didn’t realize that addiction was part of his battle. I’m hardly an expert, but I know that addiction (in any of its insidious forms) destroys lives, relationships, homes, careers and the list goes on and on. My heart aches for those caught in the snare and celebrates everyone and anyone with the courage to admit they have a problem and seek help!

A few hours after I chatted with my friend, I saw a ‘preacher quote’ come through on my Facebook feed that said something like this.

‘The Loudest Shout Comes From The Person Who Has Just Been Set Free!’

My friend is shouting loudly right now, and I couldn’t be happier for him!

You might be reading this and dealing with your secret (or maybe not so secret) battle that is consuming your life. My friend is not the exception to the rule. I’m telling you his story with the hope of inspiring you to break free of the chains that have trapped you. While I don’t know the whole story quite yet, I do know that he made at least three critical choices.

He ACKNOWLEDGED he had a problem.

He BELIEVED that he could see a better day if he sought help.

He COMMITTED to getting help and finding the freedom that he was born to enjoy.

He DARED to follow through!

You can do this! I know you can!