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! 🙂

The Risk Taker

We work hard at domesticating or managing God.  We prefer a safe God.  One who won’t do anything too dangerous, outrageous or risky. We like Him that way because it’s not in the character of a ‘safe God’ to ask anything outrageous or risky from us.  Fortunately for us (us being all of humanity…) God has not fallen subject to our feeble attempts at domestication and remains as outrageous and risky as ever.

I’m writing this on Christmas morning.  What’s not to love about our neat and tidy version of the Christmas story?  A baby in a manger attended by a doting mom, an attentive Joseph, shepherds, wealthy men from a far off land and angel choirs seems fairly safe and benign moment. What we don’t see is the scandal, chaos and flood of human emotion as Mary and Joseph in particular sought to sort out, process and follow God’s scandalous plan.

The angel told Mary that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and that she would conceive.  That’s quite the announcement to a 14 year old virgin!  Compounding the issue was Mary’s engagement to Joseph.  Saying yes to God’s plan put Mary’s reputation, relationship and very life at risk.

Sometimes God’s strategies look more scandalous than sanctimonious.

Jesus actual birth in a stable, without a midwife is packed with risk.  Have you been in a barn?  It’s generally not the most sanitary place on the planet and yet it was the place God chose to present the gift of His Son.  Imagine the fear and uncertainty the Mary and Joseph would have experienced as she delivered her first child without anyone to support them through the very challenging experience of childbirth.  What could possibly go wrong?

Add in the shepherds, the wisemen, angel choir and the banging of the drummer boy and the whole night is filled with chaos.  (There wasn’t really a drummer boy but it certainly adds to the picture!)

Sometimes God’s strategies look more chaotic than predictable.  Truth be told, God’s strategies thrive in what we deem to be chaos!

We like to think that God works according to our ideas of order and structure.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  God does WHAT He wants, WHEN He wants and HOW he wants.  We can get a bit jumpy in our world as to whether or not God’s plans will prosper but if I’ve learned anything on my 50+ trips around the sun, it’s that God is quite able to work out His plans regardless of the opposition.  Contrary to the messaging we constantly hear, He remains ‘Large and In Charge’ and because He is, what seems RISK to us is simply ‘modus operandi’ in His world!

The partnership of the divine with humanity is fraught with risk, but it is through the risk that we find the wonder of the miracle.  Risk for us is a matter of faith.  The equation isn’t ‘If you do this, I will do that’ but ‘When you trust Me to do it MY WAY, I will not disappoint you.’

Trusting can be hard, scary business but trusting pays huge dividends EVERY TIME we do it!