Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Great Message by Pastor Robbie

"Bring on my Purpose Please!"

This is a message that I needed to hear today. It was taken from Acts 26:12-29. Knowing our purpose in Christ has to be the most important thing we can know in our Christian walk. How can we can be a purpose-driven chuch or even a purpose-driven people unless we know that our paramount purpose is to glorify God by putting into practice the Great Commission.

It is our Highest Calling to proclaim the Gospel. Just take a look at Romans 1:16, 1 Corinthians 2:2, Galatians 6:14 or Acts 20:24.

In every case Paul knew his purpose - not to be ashamed of the Gospel - to know nothing but Christ crucified - to boast in nothing but the cross and to testify solemnly of the Gospel of the Grace of God. Everyone of these points to proclaiming the Gopsel.

Something that has been on my mind is what excites me and why? What motivates me to do or not do something in my Christian walk?

Paul was clear when he was in front of Agrippa and Festus by delaring his purpose in verses 16-18 of Acts 26.

His purpose was to witness the Gospel so that the Gentiles would have their eyes opened, turn from darkness to light, be rescued from Satan and come to God, receive forgiveness of their sins and receive their inheritance ... by faith in Christ.

I realize now that much of what I have done in Christ's name was not His real purpose for me, that it required much more obedience on my part that I was willing to give.

Maybe I was unwilling to take opposition and maybe I didn't really believe that God is the only help that I need in proclaiming his Gospel. Maybe I wanted to do what I wanted to do ... I let doubt steal my purpose.

Thank you Pastor Robbie.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Native Conference Report

Being with Brothers and Sisters of a Different Culture is Good

-----Gary Simple ------Ken Pretty-on-top -----Bruce Brown & Leonard John----

Despite the great weather today - I spent the morning writing my report on the recent Native Life Conference held last weekend in Seattle. I love working on the website and especially love writing about experiences and sharing with others that they may catch a bit of the excitement that I experience in my walk.

The link to the report is: Seattle Native Life Conference.

Happy reading and if you have any comments or questions, you can leave them on the Three Cord Ministries website or here on the blog.

----Tee-pee in Gym------------Native Market-------------Grand Entry-----

Now I can go out and enjoy today's great Sping weather!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Good Lunch With an Old Buddy

Always Time for Tim Hortons

There's something nice about getting together for lunch with someone who cares about you and who you care about. No, not my wonderful wife this time - but a good friend and brother in Christ whom I hadn't seen in a while.

It was probably before Christmas the last time I saw RH and it was nice to find out what he's been up to and to be able to talk frankly about our Christian walks. He said he actually reads this blog - didn't know if ANYONE actually did so I had better watch what I write!

Actually he gave me a few things to think about - how I am walking out my faith and that maybe it would be good to go back and press the RESET button on my journey and really ask the Lord (this time) what HE wants me to be and to do.

I sometimes think I am a better 'human-doing' than a 'human-being'.

Anyway - thanks for the time well spent!

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's So Good To Be Back Home Again

That sounds like a John Denver song!

Wow - it is so good to be back home after 4 days in Seattle. As posted before the First Nation conference in Seattle was great and I met many wonderful people and was hosted by a wonderful couple Chuck and Peggy in Des Moines just south of Seattle. but coming hoke feels so good.

I was to have flown back from Seattle this morning at 7:00am via Washington DC (circuitous route because I was using Aeroplan) and was supposed to arrive in TO at about 5:40pm. But instead, because of strongh headwinds on that route that meant that I would have missed my connection, I was put on the non-stop Air Canada flight that left only one hour later but was to arrive two hours earlier!

BUT ... just as we were taxing out the runway, I noticed the plane turn around and start to head back to the terminal. A message came across the loudspeaker that someone had an oxygen bottle on board and that is a banned cargo and that they would have to unload the bottle.

It was actually the lady sitting right next to me and after showing several documents and explaining that it was NOT an oxygen bottle but an oxygen filter that hooks up to the airplane's supply (she had transported a patient to Seattle earlier and was returning home with the filter).

Once that was cleared up, we turned around and headed back out to take off.

The flight was uneventful and actually shorter than expected because of strong tail winds on that route. I arrived at 3:40pm - sped through customers even though theerewere at least 1,000,000 students returning from March-break trips to Rome and elsewhere and was met by my lovely wife right on time. It was so good to get home early.

So let's see - strong head winds going towards Washington and strong tail winds going towards Toronto - hmmm ... maybe there's a metaphore for something there - blowing in the wind???

Thank you Lord for such wonderful flight changes and journeying mercies!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Five Days in Federal Way, Washington

As the conference has wound up - I wanted to reflect on some of the highlights. One of the reasons for coming out to Seattle for the conference was to reaquaint with some of the friends that I met in Alaska last year.

Several First Nation people from this area went up to Alaska and I had a chance to hang out with them so it was good to meet them here in their own area. But there were over 20 others who came down from Alaska - most of whom I met up there. Re-aquainting with brothers and sisters is soooooo good!

The conference was hosted by the Northwest Foursquare Church in Federal Way (just south of Seattle) Washington. Pastor Steve Schell was most welcoming and he and a team from the Foursquare First Nations organization had meticulously planned out the three days. Jeff Yellow Owl - a Blackfoot Indian - and supervisor of Foursquare First Nations has been a blessing to this ministry for many years. He was the founder of the conference now in its fifth year and was supported by a mighty team of 'warriors' from the church including Corb and Jan Morgan the planners and logisticians.

I will do a formal Conference Report and put it up on the website when I get back but I wanted to highlight a few things that the Lord showed me while at the conference.

- If you are born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, you will not produce 'fruit' immediately because this indwelling is the early rain that starts the growing process. It is the latter rain - that late rain that did the final ripening of the crop that produces the Fruit of the Spirit and comes later after humility and submission.

- There are many attitudes and actions that can stop ministry and many that can help ministry. Those things that stop or limit ministry include ... forgiveness, cynicism, pride and gossip. Things that help ministry are knowing that God is Lord of the Harvest - not us, Not only must the Word be preached but it must be lived, we must have the Word IN us, we must step INTO His calling by stepping OUT in faith and we must repent of sin and wrongs done.

- To be culturally sensitive and useful in a culture we we must know the PROTOCOL of the groups we want to minister in and with. There is much to be learned from coming alongside a contact who knows the culture - no 'Lone Rangers' allowed.

- We cannot walk in the Spirit until we have lived in the Spirit - that is, we must have a firm vertical relationship with God before we can walk our walk horizontally.

- Much more as well!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A Friend's Graduation at Singing Waters

Celebrating on a Good Day with a Good Friend

I had the priveledge of attending the graduation of a good friend of mine from Nunavik who completed the Isaiah-61 Winter 2009 school held at Singing Waters Ministries near Orangeville.

Paul Lapage from Kuujjuaq in Arctic Quebec and others had been on the course since January 17th. I had picked him an another couple from Qaqtaq (a smaller community in Nunavik) from the airport in mid-January and delivered them to Singing Waters. It was hard to believe that 9 weeks has passed!

To my very pleasant surpise a few others who I know were also there as students or guests. It was great to see David & Joan Ellyatt from London who came up to see the ceremony as well as Paul's wife, Eva, who came down from Nunavik to see her husband graduate.

Dave spends a lot of time in the North through his ministry Arctic Mission Outreach building and overseeing churches in Canada's Arctic.

The graduation was followed by a lovely dinner that gave us guests a chance to share with the graduates.

Paul & Eva leave tomorrow to return North.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

A Great Day With Two of the Saints

Today was not only a good day weather-wise (come on Spring) and a great day at church (Acts 4:14-30 by Pastor Daniel McDougall) but even a greater day because we spent over 6 hours with two wonderful saints from Harvest Bible Chapel.

They came over at 1:30 and had a 'Cooks' tour of our building and even looked at one of the suites that is for sale in the building and then spent four hours at our place talking and sharing and fellowshipping (and eating) in the Lord. It is good to meet with other like-minded people especially when you know the Lord is with them. We so appreciated their sage advice on some questions we had and their heart to minister.

It has been a source of uneasiness for me to know where the line is between what ministry should or can be done within our local church and what can or should be done under the banner of Three Cord Ministries.

I need to remember the words from the song What a Friend We Have in Jesus and "Take it to the Lord in prayer"

The rest of the weekend was filled with the gym (for my wife), laundry (me) and grocery shopping (her) and chilling out in front of the TV (us). It is good to spend time just doin' nuttin'.

Thank you Lord for another weekend - now I am getting ready for a shortened week at work.

More later!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Death of Susan Tsvangirai wife of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

I am not sure why I am so moved in hearing about the tragic death of Susan Tsvangirai the wife of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. I have been following events in Zimbabwe for some years (again I don't know why) and see so many forces of evil in this world working in that country. I guess it could be because that was one of many countries on God's earth in Africa that was created with such beautiful landscapes and people.

Even the beauty of the land has been tarnished with all the constant outbreaks of disease, displacement and destruction. Certainly the leadership under the present dictator has all but snuffed out the hope of the average Zimbabwean.

The tragic death of Mrs. Tsvangirai only highlights this destruction and low value of life in Zimbabe and more importantly has poured a large amount of acid on the hopes of this people ever reclaiming their God-given dignity.

My prayers and thoughts go out to Mr. Tsvangirai as he has yet another of so many tragedies in his life to cope with. I would say to Mr. Tsvangirai what the Bible says about tragedy and adversity in Habakkuk 3:16-19 ...
"I heard and my inward parts trembled,
At the sound my lips quivered
Decay enters my bones,
And in my place I tremble
Because I must wait quietly for the day of distress,
For the people to arise who will invade us.
Though the fig tree should not blossom
And there be no fruit on the vines,
Though the yield of the olive should fail
And the fields produce no food,
Though the flock should be cut off from the fold
And there be no cattle in the stalls,
Yet I will exult in the LORD,
I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.
The Lord GOD is my strength,
And He has made my feet like hinds' feet,
And makes me walk on my high places."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Way, the Truth and the Life

What a great sermon tonight at church on John 14:1-14. As Pastor Robbie explained - this is the crescendo of the Book of John when Jesus says exactly who He is. Some of the disciples like Thomas and Philip still didn't get it even though they were with Him for nearly 3 years!

Is it no wonder that sometimes we don't get it either? I am thankful He has a room prepared for me - I don't know what it will be like but who cares?

Has He a room prepared for you?

Nearly time to turn the clocks ahead one hour - glad we go to the Saturday night service at Harvest and we can get that extra hour sleep in tomorrow morning.
Fireproof - the movie

Last night (Friday) my wife and I and about 200 others watched the movie Fireproof at our church (Harvest Bible Chapel - Oakville). This is one movie that both Christians and non-Christians who are interested in their marriages, must see.

Besides good acting and great visual effects, the main point of the movie was - in marriages, spouses cannot be ignored - the flame goes out and the 'f'ire' barriers go up. This may be OK for a real fire - but in a marriage the 'flame' must always burn and the barriers must always be brought down.

In the movie, a planned 40-day Christian-based program was followed by the husband in order to show his wife that he really wanted to put her and their marriage first and not his own selfish desires (aka $25k motorboat). I think any viewer can see something of his or her own selfishness in this. It doesn't need to be a particular item like a boat, but any number of things including outside activities, clubs, computers - even selfishness in at home time - watching sports, working on the computer with on-line activities etc.

Does it mean a spouse needs to stop living - of course not - but maybe to stop living for themselves.

It is something that I have to think more about. How about you?

Where your mind is, your heart is and where your heart is, your time is spent.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Stepping Stones

"A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step"

I guess with any endeavour, there must be a beginning (and therefore there must be an end) and so this is the beginning of my blog.

Life can be measured by the flagstones or stepping stones that we either take or don't take along the way. It is interesting to look back and see definite stepping stones that were placed in our way. We could either step on to the next one in the path or choose to step on another that leads off somewhere else. One thing is for sure ... we can never just stand still and not take a step.

I want to see what stepping stones were in my life and what decisions I made whether to take them or ignore them. As a pre-condition, I now believe all the stepping stones were placed there by God whether at the time I recognized Him (knew Him) or not.

I wonder in your life what were the major stepping stones that you have come across and what made you take one over another?