Friday, December 21, 2007

What Is Our Call

Holy flashback Bibleman!!!! It came out of nowhere and with no warning. There we were talking about a simple meeting of men over their bibles and suddenly I was thrust back in time to all of the bible studies I can remember from my days in a church that shall remain nameless. My buddy at work said that at this meeting the question was put forth "What is our primary call as Christians?". Even as he said it I felt a cold cringe in my belly. The response?? Evangelism, of course (wave your flag and say hurray at this point). I couldn't stifle the laugh the burst out. Though not a full blown belly laugh it was enough to arouse my work mate's curiosity.
The response was such a throwback to a gift based (try giftocentric if you like) theology that I could hardly believe it. How can we continue to base things on what we perceive to be the best gift? How can we continue to marginalise people based on what God has given them to do? How long will we base our worth on what we do?? AAAaarrrrrrgghhhh (sorry, couldn't help it) I thought that by this stage in the game we realised that our primary call as a Christian, or even just a human being for that matter, was to intimacy with God. I don't remember God saying to Adam when he was hiding," Hey, Adam, I noticed the garden is looking a little messy, what's with that??" God sought out Adam from a heart for fellowship not an employer/employee relationship. Stating that our number one call is to evangelism sets us back into a religious mindset that produces competition, pride and more disciples with no clue about their relationship to the Father through Christ.
All that we do will flow out of our relationship, not the other way around. Evangelism will spring from a heart that is intimate with the Father and a desire to introduce people to Him. This will also be true of teaching, prophecy, helps, giving, wisdom etc.
Besides, if we are going to be like Jesus then we are going to want to do what we see the Father doing just like He did. How are we to do this if we are not intimate with Him?????
I'll leave it there. There is just too much I could say on this one.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Ask Not What You Can Do For God

Well it was a good week at work and I am still glad that it is Friday so I guess I get joy on two levels. Part of the reason that I had a good week was that I had the opportunity to work with one of the other lead hands whom I rarely get to connect with one on one. We usually like to spend our time talking about spiritual things, marriage, kids etc., so the time is well spent.
Today we talked all over the map, but one thing stood out for me and that was a continuation of a thought from the previous day. It started with a rant about conference brochures, book jackets and all the fluff they are covered with. It was a good rant too. I personally hate all those blurbs on the speaker or the author and all the things they have done and why I should put importance on every word they care to drip from their lip. Blech! I feel that if the Spirit is speaking through them then that should be evidence enough. I guess they think that just in case God does not validate their message they should have a few good friends to back them up or maybe a splashy ad telling about all the other great things they have done. It's no wonder that the books I have read currently are all ones that God has told me to pick up (except for my photography magazines...oops). The continuation of this thought was that it really seems odd that we spend a lot of breath telling about the exploits of men for God. It is encouraging to hear tales of spiritual daring do, but so much of the emphasis seems to be of the fortitude of the people and implying that if we were similarly gifted or driven then we too could do such wonderful things. The fact of the matter is that it is amazing to me that God can do the things He does with the materials He has to work with. As a carpenter I would probably go through the pile of wood and chuck out most of the stuff as scraps and yet God builds wonders and beauty with those same studs (no pun intended). Perhaps the difference is His willingness to invest no end of time on each piece, but in the end the kudos should not go to the stud but to the craftsmen who so lavishly applied His skill to the stud.
So the end of this is that I would really appreciate it if the next conference you speak at or book you write could leave off from all the furious back patting and just get the job done. Better yet, maybe just a nod to God would be a good place to start.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What A Difference A Word Can Make

It is so interesting to me how long a lie can interrupt the flow of grace from God's word. Simple things clog the lines of communication from the Spirit. Little things like emphasising the wrong word or even a simple shift of inflection will throw our theology off on a tangent and it will spread out to the interpretation of other passages until its subtle infection has left us with rags instead of robes.
One of these points for me has been John 8:32 where Jesus says that the truth shall set us free. It seems that for so long I have believed that what He really meant was that the truth can set you free. The fact is that He said it would set me free. The problem is that when I do not see freedom then I change the word to make it fit my reality instead of the other way around. In this case it is when I do not see freedom in my life then I doubt that His word is for real or even for me. The reality is that this is a litmus test for the presence of lies in my life. Where there is no freedom then there is a lie blocking the flow. When this lie is dealt with the power of the word enters in and does precisely what it says it will which is usher in freedom.
The only unfortunate things is when we get caught for so long in a lie that we fail to see it anymore. It is at these times that God uses other people so effectively. He sends people who will grind into us in the location of weakness so that we can more easily identify the issue and allow Him to change it. Then, when I follow what the verse above says, Jesus sets me free. How simple is that! The other thing is that Jesus is the truth, so I don't need to get to know some obscure, dusty facts in a library like a wizard's apprentice looking for the right spell. It is all about intimacy with a person who will speak to us, guide us, encourage us and more, all from a heart of never ending love!
For this reason I am becoming more and more thankful for God's holiness each day because it also assures me that He will never turn aside from His intentions for me and all I have to do is to stay close to Him and He will do His thing. Paul knew that even if God has to use the devil to destroy our flesh He will still preserve our spirit for Himself and His glory. He will never give up.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Hang Drum...Not Hum Drum

I was cruising around Youtube tonight and totally by accident came across this amazing instrument called a hang drum (pronounced hung drum). Oddly enough it originates not in the Caribbean or Thailand, but in Switzerland. The sound is absolutely mesmerizing and sooo melodic. If you go on Youtube and type in hung drum you'll find tons of videos. This is the video that got me hooked. It actually made me miss the family jamming nights with the Pedersons, Adairs and Toppings et al; those were truly pieces of heaven. I hope you enjoy

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Servant Of All

So there I was during worship this last Sunday when the team started to play this song about Jesus being the servant of all. I was drifting in and out of a great prayer/worship/meditate place when all of a sudden this thought really slammed into me.... Jesus servant of all. It opened a door that I haven't really looked into before, at least not for any length of time. This is probably because I spend most of my meditative time being blown away by His majesty, which encompasses His divinity and His humanity but most especially His character. His majesty lifts my eyes up to see Him seated in the heavenlies far above all the riff raff bs that tries to elevate itself in His face. It is humourous to me to see someone try to get 'all up in His face', but that is a rabbit trail for another day. When I think of Jesus as a servant I begin to see a few things more clearly.
  1. Jesus doesn't mind the title. The depth of this humilty is unsearchable and yet it is part of the core of who Jesus is. Of all the titles His is given this one opens the door the widest to the character traits of mercy, justice and compassion.
  2. This should begin a revolution in my prayer life as the fact sinks in that He is never put out by a request for aid. I have known this before, but not at the level of partnership. It has always been a servant and master kind of thing or at least a teacher and student relationship.
  3. This shows up so much of how we structure leadership and how we approach leaders. In fact this may explain why we tend towards a religious mindset so often. Even in our best efforts our tendancy towards religion creep along beside us because we find these parts of God so foreign to our thinking.
  4. This makes serving easier. I know that sounds weak and pathetic, but it is true. Knowing that in serving I am elevated with Christ makes it so much more fun. There is nothing threatening about it at all because when I go low I am with Jesus and He is above all pricipalities, powers and names that can be named so there is truly nothing to lose. Sorry if that sounds crass, but I find it very liberating.

I will leave it at that for now because I hear my wife doing the dishes and I want to have some fun too.

Yeah God!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


As I was busily driving around today in the GTR Mazdarati I started to think about a discussion that Cris and I had today. There was a bit of a disagreement which I thought we had resolved and yet something was niggling at me from the back of my bean. Normally I would shelve this as some kind of mental warfare to derail what had been a good day and a seemingly good resolution to a minor crisis, but I have been allowing these things to ramble of late and see what God may be saying in it all. This time He showed me that even in my best intentions I had allowed the blinders to be slipped over my peepers and had acted in a self preserving manner. The issue that we discussed was not what was important, the fact that I put myself first and proceeded with a self justifying mindset is what was important. It blinded me to what was pivotal for my wife.
At this point it is important that I rabbit trail back a few years to a question that I posed to God. It was all about the meaning of holiness. For years I had heard and read about this word, but had little or no real understanding of what it meant in practical terms which made adhereing to 1 Peter 1:16 difficult. After a while it dawned on me that I could actually go to the source and ask God what this word meant (duh). He replied that holiness is the complete, undivided, unwavering and unending devotion to the object of your love. This blew me away on so many levels. The particular level I need to address here, though , is my wife.
What I realised is that I had not approached the whole incident from the standpoint of holiness, not to God (whose laws state I am to love others as myself not after myself), nor to my wife (whom I am to love as Christ loved the church). I had to call her back with this renewed perspective and apologise for not seeing what was important to her and actually acting like it was important. It went well.
I thank God that He is slowly softening my hard bean and dropping in some jewels in the process. I also thank Him for a wife that sees this and is patient. She's solid gold that woman.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I Had To Add This One!!! Go God!!!

I love God stories. Not stories of what people have done for God (YAWN), but stories of what God has done. Wow, what a booster for the faith. Check this story out, I found it on Youtube right next to the other one. Just for kickers, if you have a God story please share it in the comments and I will either post one or comment one of my own. Let's build each other up!

A Good Word From Graham Cooke

No words from me today. I had some good ones I thought, but I can get back to those later. This is a simple message and somehow inside I wanted to go...Yeah,yeah I know that, but I need these hammers to keep chipping away at the walls and objections inside. I hope you enjoy it too.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Post #200......(Pass The Cake Please)

Who'd have thought it would have gone this far? Maybe my wife would, she knows how much I can talk when I get going. Anyway the theme remains the same; unity.

I have been thinking this morning about an email I received from some friends who were attending our missions homegroup. They were very new and seemed to be searching out what they were about. It was good to have them but now they are moving on to other things. In the email they explained that they have been very impacted by the teaching of both Kenneth Copeland and Creflo Dollar and were going to do a video series on some of their teachings. There were some hints at the last couple of homegroups that they may have been going this way so it wasn't to much of a surprise. What did surprise me were the feelings that came up in me. I am somewhat familiar with the teachings that these men have and have fellowshipped closely with other men who have been full on in the word faith movement (please forgive if I use wrong terms here, I'm not versed in all the lingo). When I was in China with jet lag I watched brother Kenneth and Benny Hinn (at 3AM on satellite tv) as well; again please forgive if they are from different streams but the men I fellowshipped with followed both of them and spoke with equal regard to both of them. There was some good stuff there that I enjoyed even more than the irony of watching it from a communist country.

For many years I have spoken my piece against the whole prosperity gospel and generalised about the word faith movement, all the while feeling quite highbrow in my opinions. Now, though, I was tunneling through much self-doubt regarding my own faith walk. I wondered if it was a lack of faith that has me tied up financially and if it has also been blocking the doors to the missions field for us as a family. There were other issues as well, but this is a blog post not a book. So I woke early one morning and set out for a walk to try out this new lesson in silent warfare that God has been teaching me.

As I trundled around the lower Mission area the thoughts came streaming in like a loud TV from next door. I couldn't change the volume, channel or the neighbour so I walked and listened. It became interesting though that although these voices were familiar they were not THE familiar voice I was waiting I walked on. Slowly I became aware of the fact that I have become so attuned to listening to the neighbours TV that the signal coming into my own mind were being ignored. When God did finally speak He shared with me about my faith and stilled my worries. He began to share with me that I indeed have faith for great things, just not the same things as my brother and sister do. I love that God never made it about them being right and me being wrong but rather spoke directly to my place of need. He showed me that I have faith for the people of God to come together as one and faith to see walls of separation come down. I have marginalised this for so long because it wasn't about healing the sick and raising the dead so it was probably just a cop out.
This is the beginning of a change in understanding for me. This is the beginning of seeing for me. I tend to be a very black and white kind of person, and when it comes to the foundations of faith and truth don't expect that to change any time soon. The black and white, though, tended to extend into all things I did not understand and to people whom I didn't get. I am beginning to see more of the truth of what my favourite verse in the bible (Ephesians 3:10) is talking about:

9...and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;
10so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.
11This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord...

I love this verse because it says there are many facets of God's wisdom and that these facets are being reflected through His people. He is showing it to the rulers and authorities that didn't get it when they rebelled from heaven. So now it is our chance to show it off. The catch is that none of us has the capacity to show it all off. We need others to show the parts we are not called to show. If I look to the apostles I quickly see that even those who were with Jesus for 3 years never assumed that they could do it all themselves nor that they were expected to fulfill all the offices and duties of the church. So now I look around and I see so many unique calls and duties that God has given to His children. I see those who by faith will gain riches for the kingdom and I see those who by faith forsake all riches to go to the darkest places of the world with the gospel. I see those who by faith pray and intercede for people and cities and I see those who by faith evangelise and transform people and cities. There are those who by faith establish radio and television stations to spread the word and those who by faith go to places where there is no radio and television to spread the word. There are those who stand by faith before governments to profess Christ and those who by faith suffer torture by governments for professing Christ. Above all this though I see a vision of a united body where all the parts are working and supplying to one another from the bounties of their faith. I see a body with no divisions of denominations where people of faith give to one another without measure. A body where the rich don't tell the poor to step up their faith, but rather pony up some cash. A body where the intercessor doesn't tell the evangelist to soften his own ground with prayer but rather partners to target and take down strongholds and set prisoners free. A body where the poor don't tell the rich to pack a food hamper but rather bless them to plunder the wealth of the nations for the kingdom. A place where the evangelist doesn't bash the prayer warrior for only opening his mouth in his closet but rather shares his gift and anointing to effect change in the intercessors sphere as well. A body where, as a dear brother of mine always says, we esteem each other as better than ourselves.
Then I ask myself, who wouldn't want to be a part of that????

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Return To Silence

Went for a walk this morning and had a heavy heart from two days of taking kidney shots to my spirit. I dearly love the autumn season and my youth spent in the rain in Abbotsford made today a perfect day for a quiet stroll. The leaves are turning and the ground was wet from the rains last night and Sunday mornings are always very still as most people are either recovering from or clinging to the last moments of the weekend.

The thing I found most peaceful about it all though was walking out the revelation God gave me a week or so ago. It happened when I was riding my bike to work the other day with my mp3 player blasting worship music in my ears. I was almost half way to work when the noise in my ears became unbearable and I yanked the earbuds out. In that moment God spoke to me about fear. He reminded me of the question I yelled at Him a while ago regarding the root of my fear of being alone/quiet and especially the fear (silly as it seems) of going to bed early. You see, I always seem to need to watch a movie or play on the computer or have my nose in a book until I can't keep my eyes open anymore and then I finally go to sleep. None of these things are bad in themselves, but they keep me from getting rested and also keep my mind tucked away from God as I drift off. It has troubled me for some time and all my best resolutions have quickly fallen away. Then God spoke to me while riding down the shoulder of highway 97. He told me that the constant noise and distraction was coming from a fear of the voices that come in the silence. The picture He used to drive this home was that of my bike and the noise that it has been making for the last month or so. There was a clunk, clunk, clunk in the bottom bracket that was making me mental since I'm a bit of a perfectionist and things being out of whack make me go out of whack. This noise had actually caused me to stop riding my bike. Every time I thought of hopping on it and riding to work I heard that clunk, clunk, clunk and decided to drive instead. God said that it was the same thing with being alone/quiet and going to bed at night. The noise of the voices that come against me seem unbearable and so I just try to drown them out till I fall asleep or until there is someone else around. I have been afraid of the silence because of the noise.

The voices always come and speak lies and confusion to me. The voices always want to draw me into an argument or into an attempt to draw out enough evidence of my faith to prove them wrong. It is so maddeningly circular and unproductive that I find it easier to just drown them out. The bad thing is that I end up drowning God's voice out too. In all the arguing and babble I couldn't make it out either so it was seeming quite hopeless. Perhaps it was hopeless like Elijah felt hopeless standing on the mountain in the face of the wind and the earthquake and the fire. That must be why he went back into the cave. That is why I go back in the cave, till God comes again and reassures me with the still small voice. This time the voice of God assured me that the storm of thoughts would not destroy me or distance me from Him. He told me that if I surrender to Him in the midst of the storm it will pass. He said I do not need to put up a mighty struggle and valiant rebukes. He told me to just be quiet and He would handle it. So for the past week I have been doing this every day. When I am driving my truck at work I leave the stereo off and when the thoughts start to break on the shores of my mind and the darkness begins to cloud my eyes I simply say to God," See, those are the kind of thoughts that have been messing me up." I'm not sure how, but He then proceeds to still the storms and restore peace to me. It has been absolutely wonderful. The walk this morning was no different. As I walked I just let the tangle of thoughts roll around my head and patiently waited for His voice to clear it all up. It amazes me how clear His voice is when I keep my mouth shut long enough to hear it. It also amazes me how faithful He is to speak when I give Him a chance to say something. Maybe sometimes He just wants to let the storm look really big before He blows it away so that I will know how great He is; not for pride's sake, but for trust.
He is an incredible Dad, how can we not love Him?
Oh yeah, for evidence of just how easily He can blow away the storms I look to Thessalonians 2:8

And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.
WOW! He just shows up!!! How easy is that???

Saturday, September 29, 2007

To My One True Fan...(How Weird Is That?)

Well, I was reminded in an email that it has been a very long time since I posted anything here so it is with tail firmly tucked that I return to my blog. Truth of it is that during the day I think of so many things I would like to post and yet by the end of the day the creative juice just doesn't seem to be there. I'll try to resurrect at least one of those ideas here and hopefully be a little more consistant in posting future ones.
Of the many things that have crossed my mind lately the main theme has been unity. All of the little stories and blog posts (that never made it here) could be funneled into this one stream. To me it is the most important aspect of our lives as believers and it will be the clincher at that age old trial to see if we really are Christians. I assume you've all heard that one right? "If they were to put you on trial for being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you?". If someone actually carried through with this threat (which is how I've always seen that statement) then it seems obvious to me that the burden of evidence would be based on what Jesus said about it all. He said that they would find all the evidence they need in our love for each other. This is always the toughest one though. It would be so much easier if it just relied on the nice things I've done or the number of times I pray a week. Even if it would just be on how I treat people who don't know Jesus it would probably be easier. Somehow when we enter into the fold the bar is raised till it is out of reach. It is like we walk around with a bar held up by a pole in our hand to keep it safely out of reach of ourselves and anyone else. We hold that pole up to people and when they fail to reach it we are released from our responsibility to love and respect them. I don't think we do it nearly so consciously as this, but I do see it happen all the time.
How many times have you been in a service and/or gathering and in a moment of glory wished that all the body could experience God like you were? How many epiphanies have you had in the scriptures and felt sure that it applied to everyone? How many special times have you had with Jesus and felt sure that it should be this way for all.....or at least that one person in particular. Truth is that this reveals in us the desire to cookie cut, the desire that will fight against dropping the walls. Truth is it all appears so noble in the moment too. Truth is God is too big to fit in one expression or epiphany. Truth is that if someone is standing on the same foundation (not a denominational pronouncement of foundational values, but the firm foundation of Christ) than we have before us an opportunity to pull the curtain back a little bit more. We have in that moment a chance to see more of the face of our Lord, a chance to see a side of Him that may not fit our experience or understanding. We need not worry about the difference too much either, because if it is grievous or erroneous it will be borne out in time. If, on the other hand, it is not grievous and erroneous we will have shrunk ourselves to fit into the box we are building. That place is small and always growing strangely smaller.
This post has taken a very long time to write due to the many distractions of a Saturday morning, but I just want to leave it with one question: How many times have you found it so much easier to minister to the lost than to the body?
PS Sorry it took so long between posts Wendy.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Who's A Bigot Anyway?

I may have to apologise for the title of this post, but the question is an honest one.
We talked this morning about a friend who lives and works in East End Vancouver and quite enjoys the life she has there. The problem was in explaining this choice to the friends of her new beau, they were from a different strata of society and could only see the need to get away from that part of town. The kneejerk response was to call these folks out as some shallow end of the pool socialites who don't want to get their hands dirty. That of course is a carefully contrived label, and one that doesn't fit. It doesn't fit because there are too many edges that stick past the real on both sides. I used to live in that kind of circle and I recognise the parts that the label covers and the parts that it sticks past. Those parts of the label are the ones that talk about hypocrisy and shallowness as described by the more street level saints. It has taken a few more years than I would like to get that stuff out of my eyes and now I see that what used to seem like hypocrisy and shallowness are simply different walks of life. The label would fit better if these people weren't like Zacheus, Matthew and Luke, the doctors and lawyers of their day. They weren't rough smelly fishermen, pimps or even roving minstrels; they were the respected ones (or at least richer ones) of their day. Nicodemus wasn't a bluecollar guy either, he was part of the theocratic power structure of Israel. Each one of these men had their lives changed just as much as the prostitute and the demon possessed, and I'm pretty sure that that change looked different for them than it did for the outcasts. It would probably be easier, though, if we could get them to all look the same because then we could wrap our little brains around it all in one neat little package.
Perhaps, on the other hand, it would all be easier if we adopted the principle that Paul did which allowed him to go from the market stall to the halls of power without a noticeable shift in his demeanor or conversation. He seemed to truly treat each person equally. He saw each person as someone in need of a saviour just as much as the next guy. He told us to not look down on others because we were in the same shoes (and would be again if not for constant shepherding). He didn't delineate between classes or stratas. Everyone got a fair shake, everyone heard the gospel.
I also have always found it interesting that when Paul stood before people of power he never told them that they needed to change their policies or take a closer look at social justice, he simply lifted up Jesus Christ. Wow, I wonder what it would look like if I did that all the time?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Yay God!!!!


The Lord is so good. We have prayed and interceded for these S. Korean brothers and sisters for weeks now and God has shown His mercy to all concerned.
Early on as we pressed in and the reports of hostages being killed started to come in the Lord spoke of how extravagant His love is for the Taliban fighters who did the killing. As He sacrificed the life of His own Son for us He showed that He is willing to spend our lives to see others free as well. The testimony of these brothers who gave their lives has gone not only to the Taliban, but to the rest of the world who are asking what provoked them to go to such a dangerous place. The answer rings back: The love of Jesus compelled them to go! This testimony is not lost.
Now we hear the glad news that the rest of the hostages are to be released upon S. Korea's agreement to withdraw troops from Afghanistan (which they were already going to do) rather than the original demand for a prisoner swap. They come home at last! We weep for the loss and we weep with joy for the gain. Welcome home sweet brothers and sisters!!!
South Korean hostage, Koh Se-hoon with four female hostages 30hostage

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Well, here it is, the end of the day again and for once I have some time to do a blog entry. Perhaps that niggly feeling I have about keeping this thing up is what I should post about. It isn't like I need to keep this up to keep people informed like my friend Pasha, or even that I have a great readership like my other friend Nathan who will be awaiting my next post. Sometimes it is as the title says, this is a place to let my brain drip dry. Other times it feels that I am doing this only because others are doing this and there is a certain level of social acceptance gained by doing it, even more so when I facebook. These socially antisocial activities yank on a need I feel to be accepted, and unfortunately there is a bit of conformity involved as well. That is the nut I am trying to crack today....conformity.
It is hard to get away from the forces that want to shape us into the likeness of someone else or even a group of someone elses. The safe places I have sought to escape this all seem to have slowly taken on the shape of a mold and soon I feel the walls closing in to press me into a conveniently understood little package of person. The primary one is the community of faith, mainly because that is where my heart primarily resides, but here I continually hope for something different. I guess the hope stems from the fact that while God is also busy molding us into someone else, He is not trying to make me look like the person next to me. What I mean is that as He presses me into the image of His beloved Son He allows my uniqueness to truly shine. He doesn't press me into a Jesus mold, rather He takes me and looks right into me and says...Hmmm... you look like the nose of my Son. He then proceeds to shape me and this is where the fight begins because so often I am worming around to look like some other part of Jesus' body. The other side of it happens as well, where part of Jesus' body tries to yank me in and make me look like them. Nooooo.....I'm a nose!!!! I shriek as the contortion begins. What is truly sad is when you see someone to whom this is happening and all they say is...Moooooo.
I hope to never offend someone for being a nose (or a heel), but it will probably happen. I hope there will be forgiveness then. I also hope I will never be found trying to make you a nose too.
Guess I wrote this to remind me that we are all beautiful as we join together to show the whole world what Jesus looks like. Shine on all.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Thoughts On My Thoughts

I just finished reading C.S. Lewis' book The Great Divorce for the third time in 6 years and it still shakes me up. The views he shares in the book are interesting and as his muse George MacDonald states they are beyond our current understanding. We view through a glass darkly. The things that haunt me from this book are not the musings about the relationship between heaven and hell but rather the horror of the minds of those who stood at the shores of heaven, and rejected it. In each one I see an argument in me, a reasoning I cling to like a rope in the dark. The tenacity with which I take hold of these things must be broken in the same way as these ghosts had their reasoning's assailed by the heavenly spirits sent to invite them into all joy. I see here the tender holiness of God and the mostly belligerent fear He is asking me to relinquish one piece at a time. At times it feels as though I am reluctantly unloading my luggage while the boarding gates are swiftly closing. Other times I feel I have no luggage at all and the statement by Mr. MacDonald that those who enter heaven will find upon looking back that their whole life was already heaven. The key I have found to the latter is the same as the one the spirits were holding forth, look on God, look only on God. (By the way, grab those quick, scurrying little arguments that just ran out of the corners of your mind when you read that before they find another dark place and set them out in the light where you can see them clearly. Turn up the light and see if they will survive; if they do, keep them; if they don't, burn them.)
For myself, though, the hideous truth of how dearly I hold on to the trappings of my thoughts will always give me serious pause.

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting that after the U.S. led war in Iraq to bring freedom to the people the capital city of Baghdad is known as the most dangerous city in the world?

Monday, August 13, 2007

I Always Knew It

Mingle2 - Dallas Singles

This really came as no surprise.
Been a long time away perhaps it is time for a kiddies story or two.

Monday, July 23, 2007

After the Storm

After the Storm, originally uploaded by feshyasdad.

I lived in Saskatoon for four years and got quite used to seeing amazing skies; thus the 'Land of Living Skies' on the licence plates. Every once in awhile, though, God impresses upon me that all skies are living, simply because He made them. This shot was taken out the front door in Kelowna after we had some thunderstorms rumble through. I ripped myself away from Rosetta Stone and grabbed the cam to get this and a few others.
Thanks Dad!

Live From China

Here is a link to CCTV China, the national TV broadcaster. They pretty much run the show as far as TV goes. Check the viewing schedule and there are some interesting shows on culture and travel around China. We watched these quite often when we were there. Besides which, this was the one english channel among 130 channels.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting how people always default to Christians when they talk about narrow minded morality bashers, and yet Muslims, Buddhists and others are far more conservative and even outspoken in their moral views?

I Gotta Try This One Day!!!

This is the Maglev train that runs from the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai to the Jinqiao area of the city at an amazingly smooth 400kph. Trust me, the drive was not nearly as interesting.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Missional Widescreen

There is an excellent post that most of the few readers of this blog have probably already read on Pernell Goodyear's weblog. I was going to comment there, but I hate posting huge comments and I equally hate trying to pare down what I was going to say to the point that it makes no sense anyway.
I love the honesty of Pernell's vision of the western church. He like many others sees that there is a spiritual pathogen at work in the body which is weakening its ability to be a missional force in society. I use the term pathogen because it refers to a microorganism which cannot be seen without a microscope. The pathogens at work in the body are also invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen with spiritual insight. At the point of discovery is when a curative course of action is decided upon by those in charge of the care.
I guess it is at this point that I usually swerve away from the pack. This would be both packs. For the most part the problems arises for me when the course of action means amputation. Unfortunately this usually follows closely on the heels of a diagnosis of the problem. We decide to carve away a part and once separated we begin treatment in the fashion of our choosing, whether it be fewer programs, agenda-lessness, full bore programing, or just a newer building (close to the inner city, of course)(sarcasm). Here is where the irony lies for me. We all tend to agree that God is the builder of His church and yet.....we wonder. We say He is the great Shepherd and yet.....will He? We believe the scripture says 'one' and yet.....who makes up the 'one'??
The point of this is not to critique any of the treatments that are out there, it is simply to ask why there always has to be an amputation prior to the cure? I wonder if we were to be so easily diagnosed and treated would we gladly recieve it? If our lives were to be percieved so clearly and dealt with in this same manner, would we see it as love?
I believe that the body, just like me, has many ills and problems and yet I trust Christ to complete what He has begun in me; begun by what I know had to be boundless mercy. I also believe that there will be people doing things that I will not understand in the name of Christ, just as the disciples complained of. Yet Christ said that if they are not against Him then they are for Him. I also trust that He will continue to soften me so that I too may look past and see the mercy that has saved others as it has saved me, that He will help them as He helps me.
I want to bless Pernell as He follows what He sees the Father doing, because Dad sees it and it is good.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


My wife showed me this piece from CBC which I found quite hilarious. I wonder if any of them will use the old General Lee's horn.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting that we will watch in horror a report of people being locked in a church and hacked to death with machetes and yet find it easy to lock people into our buildings of anger and hack them to bits with words.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting how our society continues to lavish money, time and attention to those who will openly exploit it, while the marginalised who lack the fame languish under suspicion and condemnation.

The Plight Of The Karen People

This is a video piece done by CBC about the Karen people of Myanmar. Two of our friends have visited the refugee camp that borders Myanmar and Thailand where many of these people live in political limbo. This people group is largely Christian.
We are praying for a peaceful solution to this crisis and that these brothers and sisters can live and worship in peace without fear of military incursions.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting that someone who speaks english fluently, but with a heavy accent, is just as culpable in some people's eyes as someone who cannot speak it at all?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting that a radio station that says it represents what Canadians want sets itself in blatant opposition to Christians.

note: links do not indicate support, only a source of information.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting how evolutionists try to stop evolution from happening?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting how there is no 'Parenting 201' course in life?

News Of The Persecuted Church

Here are some news stories from around the world where our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering for our Lord. Remember them in your prayers.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Arise Kelowna

Here is a website that was started by three young ladies from Kelowna. They felt a call to repentance and revival for Kelowna along the lines of the Call which is happening in Nashville on 07/07/07. The Nashville one is headed by Lou Engle and they are already on day 9 of a 40 day fast leading up to the event.
The whole idea is not to rally for a rah rah team cheering session, but rather to enter into a fasted lifestyle which will bring forth the power of God in our society and culture once again. It is a call to repentance for the church, for without this we will never change our times. It is a call to draw the line in the sand as Moses did at the base of Sinai and bring our hearts out of the world and into God.
I am also happy to say that my daughter has some awesome examples to follow in this generation and that brings the Lord's comfort to this dad. I know these gals are not alone either.
If you are from the Kelowna area please consider registering for this and entering into prayer both now and after, because this does not stop on 08/07/07. It is time to make war on the enemies of the Lord and we most effectively do this on our knees. If you are not from this area, please consider
  1. Getting this going in your area or even just your homegroup, circle of friends or around the kitchen table.
  2. Praying for these gatherings as they spring up, that the Lord would be allowed free reign to change the lives of His people.
  3. Not only prepare for war, but make war because the whole thing about the gates of hell not prevailing means that we are the ones attacking. (It doesn't say the hordes of hell, it says the gates of hell) Go in and plunder!
  4. Dismantle the siegeworks between each other. Unity is the key to all of this. As long as we are fighting each other we cannot fight the enemy. Seek the commanded blessing of Psalm 133

A Song of Ascents.

1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,
running down upon the beard,
upon the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!

3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the Lord has commanded the blessing,
life for evermore.

Bless you as you seek the Lord.

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting that people who say they love the heat in summer spend most of summer in the water, in the air conditioned house or driving to the water in an air conditioned car?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Persucuted Church Prayer Alert

I know it is almost overwhelming to try to pray into all these situations as well as considering a letter writing campaign, but all it takes is a few minutes to lift them up to Jesus in prayer and you have added your voice to thousands. My wife and I commit one night a week to pray for the missionaries from our church and the Christians in the persecuted church around the world. This is an awesome way to keep our hearts connected to the wider global reality of the church.
Please don't forget to pray.

Pakistan:Walter Fazal Khan, who was charged under Pakistan's blasphemy law and jailed for allegedly desecrating the Quran on May 9 (click here for more details), was granted bail on May 29. According to a May 29 report from the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement, Khan was taken to a safe location.

Photos from Compass Direct
Egypt:Bahaa el-Din Ahmed Hussein el-Akkad (57), a former Muslim leader who converted to Christianity and was jailed in April 2005 (click here for more details), was released without charges on April 28, according to a May 24 report from Compass Direct. No official reason was given for his unexpected release. A week earlier, his lawyer's appeal had been denied by the Emergency Court. Only hours before he was freed, authorities reportedly told him that he would remain in prison for another ten years if he did not return to Islam.
El-Akkad is currently at home with his family. He returned to find hundreds of letters and cards waiting for him that had been mailed over the past few months in a concentrated letter-writing campaign from Christians around the world. According to local Christians, he is being closely monitored by authorities and continues to be under threat.

Malaysia:On May 30, the federal court of Malaysia denied Lina Joy legal recognition of her conversion from Islam to Christianity in 1998 (click here for more details). According to a May 30 report from Asia News, it was decided that only the Islamic court may remove the word "Islam" from her documents. Her case has been the subject of internal debate and pressure from Muslim militants. Following the ruling, hundreds of Islamic demonstrators celebrated outside the courthouse.
The feature article of the July edition of The Voice of the Martyrs Newsletter will focus on the difficulties facing Christians in Malaysia. To subscribe today, click here.

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting that in a formerly Christian country like Canada you can freely set up a Buddhist temple or a Muslim mosque and yet in Muslim or Buddhist countries Christians are persecuted and martyred.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

How Do Ya Embed These Things???

I tried unsuccessfully to embed these, but to no avail. It was good to see media attention given to these incidents. I have not (except on Christian TV) seen these kinds of reports on the tube here. It is a lot different than worrying about a dirty look at work because you mentioned Jesus instead of the Stanley Cup.
Let us not forget to pray.

This is another link to a separate story, also from India.

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting how hard it can be to see the level playing field we stand on before God?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting that it was only after it became impossible for Abraham to produce an heir that God counted his belief as righteousness. (Gen 15:1-6 not Gen 12:1-5)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Isn't It Interesting....

Isn't it interesting...

that those who reject the gift of tongues because people might not understand what they are saying never pray in tongues to God who will understand?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Persecution Prayer Alert

I will be featuring these alerts as part of my blog from now on. It is a reminder of the cost of our faith and those who pay the greatest price. Let's lift them up in our prayers and speak out for those whose voice the media rejects. Let us use our media to make them known.

Evangelist Attacked, Arrested in Madhya Pradesh, India

Pastor Kunal Pariacha, an evangelist from the Indian Evangelical Mission, was attacked by members of the Siva Sena Hindu militant group in Narayanpur village, Madhya Pradesh while he was preparing show the Jesus film on the evening of May 14. The militants beat Pastor Pariacha and dragged him to the local police station where a complaint was registered against him under Section 153 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act. He was brought to court on May 15 but denied bail.
Dr. Joseph D'souza, president of the All India Christian Council, has written an open letter to the leaders of India urging action in the face of increasing persecution of Christians in the nation. To read the letter, click here. The Voice of the Martyrs would urge you to write to India's Prime Minister as well, using the address supplied in this letter.
Pray that all charges against Pastor Kunal will be dropped and that he will be released. Ask that his persecution will embolden his faith (Acts 4:29 -31). Ask God to enable Indian Christians to proclaim the Gospel even while suffering (2 Timothy 4:16-18).
For more information on the persecution facing Christians in India, click here.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Say What??

Funny thing from today. I was talking to someone about a guy they knew who was fighting a drug addiction. During the conversation I was told that the guy had said he was not interested in something like NA because it was too religious. I almost fell off my beach towel. I then told them that it was funny because all the Christians I know who have never been to (but seriously need to go to) a meeting say they don't like it because it's not 'religious' enough.
So who are these people in the no-man's-land??? Veeerrrrryy scary.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Responsibility Of The Presence

I must be honest, the word responsibility has always made me cringe a bit. It is a word that carries with it the idea of duty and obligation rather than whimsical freedom, and that alone can cause the sour response. Sometimes it may carry a reward, but most often the reward is simply an inducement or the byproduct of carrying out the task. Like some people say that the reward for a job well done is.... more work. Responsibility is just that; work. So tying responsibility to the presence of God can cause a bit of a reaction. The reaction usually comes from my free gift, grace side of things and wants to accuse me of legalism and a works based salvation. I'm OK with that.

This sense of responsibility really struck me last night when I heard a speaker bring up the Matthew 7:23 passage where Jesus confronts the issue of works. Here He says that even some real good works are not the key and implies that it is knowing God that is the key. From here the speaker took us to 1 John 4:7-8 and said that love is the true test. Loving your enemies and praying for those who hate you is a true test of the knowledge and power of God in our lives. Loving the brethren (and the sistern by implication, of course) is also a test of our salvation. Ouch, maybe we should call it an acid test. Anyway, the point that I got from this was that the presence of God bears with it a responsibility. If I want the presence of God then I will have to love others. It will be impossible to walk in the presence of God and be hating others. It is ongoing as well. When I am at work and someone gets under my skin I must choose whether I want the presence of God or not. If I do then love must rule. The 'must' simply means that I cannot do this without God and therefore His presence and love are synonymous. You can't have one without the other. Call it works if you want, but James was OK with that as well. I think this is what he was getting at anyway. Ever try loving someone who bugs you without the active presence of God; eewwww. Faith in God demands things that are beyond our own abilities. Faith in God brings His presence, obedience to His presence sustains us in all things. Disobedience to His presence unplugs us, and the evidence of a Christian with a dangling plug is painfully evident. Thankfully He continues to woo us to repentance and the partaking of the Divine nature once again.
So really responsibility isn't so bad, just when I try to do it without God. Living without His presence is what is truly unbearable.
I don't think this short post does this justice, but I don't want to write a dissertation here and maybe it'll spark some thought; that's good enough.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Through A Glass Darkly

It has been a hard week and that is usually the time that I start to ponder the relative ease that is my life. The days when I find myself whining about how hard things are and wishing I could just fly away somewhere are the days that I end up thinking about how much harder it could be. Actually if I were honest here I would have to say that it probably is not me who digs up the memories of the last issue of Childview I read or the latest reports from China Aid and Voice of the Martyers. I'm pretty sure it is God who provides that service. It would also be Him who brings to mind all the other times that I can now comfortably look back on where He molded character and proved His love to me.

I was going to try and write some profound stuff after this intro, but it just seemed weak right now. I'll get back to you when there's a little more substance to it.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Magnificent Hand Of God

That God's hand holds me has been a home in my thoughts for some time now. Even in those dusty times when I feel like latrine leftovers and all the gloss is gone from my eyes, God holds me. When all is good, He holds me. When I think I know, He knows. When I try to do, He does. When my eyes give out for searching, He sees.
There is yet to be in my life a place where His presence has not found me and shown me love, grace and hope. It leaves me feeling foolish when I feel strong and rejoicing when I am convinced of my weakness. He is a river which moves me, and the current ever draws whether I float, swim or cling.
How can I not be undone by a love that is so persistently pervasive and persevering? How can I not be humbled by such overcoming holiness?
In fact, I remember a time when I was praying and the Lord showed me that as I pled the blood of Jesus I was taking the holiest of sacrifices and sprinkling it on all things defiled. Yet He was pleased. His joy in saving overcoming the very idea of pride. The humilty of God astounds me, even as the majesty of His power baffles.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Home Stranded in Chongqing 重庆钉子户

This is a 'You-Tube' video news story on a fight for property rights in China. The couple involved have been fighting for 3 years according to the AP story. If you go to 'You-Tube' (by clicking on the link at the bottom corner of the video) you will find more stories in English and Chinese.
There is also a commentary from RFA (Radio Free Asia) regarding this battle and the history behind it. We continue to pray for this vast land and its many wounds.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Reasonably Clever

brad, originally uploaded by feshyasdad.

Right back atcha, dude. lol

Saturday, April 07, 2007

A Brief Expose

Pain loops 'round the thoughts
Like the man of war
Piercing with every word
Trained hand staying
The most valiant defence
Hewing expertly through bone
Laying sword to scar
Opening afresh
The fighter lapses, lunges
Drunkenly, words clash,
Scatter, shatter
Hands fall limp
The fighter's fight is fought
The wounds, the blood
The words
These are his home

B Koop (Apr 7/07)

Monday, March 26, 2007

"An Atom Bomb Of A Book"

Just finished reading this tome, and wow, what an eye opener. It is a very clearly written and exhaustively researched look at tyranny and the mask it still wears. Well worth the read, even just to get an understanding of the global politics we rarely realise in our own worldview.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

So Much To Say, But No Time To Say It

Oh my goodness! Sometimes the header on this blog is truer than others. My bean is so saturated right now that it is almost painful. It is time to get some of it out.
The primary thing that is circling my synapses is the issue of unity in the body. This has been a constant for some years now and I think saturation comes when I pile too much on top of it. Normally I then offload the stuff on top and leave the trove beneath it alone. Not so today. Today I will chance possibly offending some people(it's a blog afterall, the offended can comment or surf on right?) in the off chance that I may actually encourage someone else.
My friend Nathan once blogged about the passage in Matthew 25 about the sheep and the goats and was pondering some aspects of it on his site here and here. It really got me to thinking about a lot of the things that I have taken for granted about the bible and what I believe about it. There are so many passages that I have been finding lately that I used to just breeze over because " I already know that stuff". It has been great to get in there and stir up some of these. This Matthew one in particular has been at the forefront (along with Matthew 18).
After reading this over the first thing that jumped out at me was that we always say," As you have done it unto one of the least of these, you have done it to me", but do you notice what is missing?? It actually says,"As you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto me". Interesting. It puts a whole new spin on it, doesn't it? Especially when we remember that Jesus said that His bretheren were those who did the will of His Father. So if I go back into the passage and insert this into what He was saying, then He was saying that these things were being done to Christians, not unbelievers. It sure changes all those missions messages I heard where they used this passage. It changes even more when I look at the overall context of what he was saying. This passage actually starts in chapter 24 with an answer to the question about the end of the age. In that there is an interesting piece that rarely gets mentioned about a servant who beats on his fellowservants and starts into drinking and eating with drunkards. The master gets a little ticked at this particular servant and sends him off to the same place where the goats are sent later on.
Again this is a passage that I only really blew by before, but now it seems to carry a rather ominous message. Of course I always thought this was about pastors and since I wasn't one I just said,"Whew!" and moved on. Now I am not so sure that it is just the guy out front who needs the heads-up. I say this because afterwards Jesus started talking about oil and talents and what people were doing/not doing with them. Then He moves on to the sheep and the goats part. Hmmmm, do you see a theme here?
I believe that what He is saying is that it is very important how we treat the people of the household of faith. I'm not going to get into who is in that house right now, because that is only safely discussed once we realise this first part.
These days it is hard to get away from the missions thrust into the marketplace, which is great. It is about time we get out from the pews and take our faith out where it can breathe. Problem is though, sometimes it feels like any invitation into the 'house' (again, I am not getting into what the house is here) is an invitation to what looks like a bar brawl. There is just as much infighting in Christian circles as there is on the outside. Even if in our own little tribe there is relative peace you wouldn't have to stretch the circle too far beyond our borders to start up the systematic dismantling of everything that is wrong everywhere else. This is really no different than any other grouping of friends. It seems there are precious few places in Christendom that you can go to find something truly different. By different I don't mean how we do Sunday, if we do Sunday or even why we do Sunday. What I mean is a place where the love is evident within and for those without our particular camp. Love for those who do 'that Sunday thing' and for those who do 'that Saturday thing'. Love for all the saints, whether they look like us or not.
When you look at the church of the first century it boggles the mind to think of the numbers of people who were getting saved in an atmosphere of harsh persecution. Not just name calling and mean looks, but horrific tortures and beastial executions. These people had to know what the empire thought about Christians and yet they came in numbers great enough to anchor the church all across the Roman empire. Perhaps, just perhaps, part of it was the fact that within the tribe/tribes of these believers there were some unbelieveable things happening. They were actually looking after the widows and orphans in their ranks. People loved each other enough to sell their property to ensure that the others would survive and have enough to eat. People from other cities who had never met, but knew that Christ was professed, gave themselves to poverty to see that those other believers would have enough to live. These things were unheard of in the rest of the empire. These things are relatively unheard of today, unless you count Oprah and Extreme Home Makeover. Of course when we do hear of this it is typically rich folks asking the masses to give for the masses while they conference call from their Gulfstream. I digress.
Perhaps, just perhaps the decline of Christendom in the West would cease when we call a ceasefire on each other and walk out all the things the Holy Spirit, through Paul, taught us to do to each other. Wow! Can you imagine??? Can you feel your heart yearning for such a thing??? If so, the easiest way to act is to find the person or peoples who have populated your churchside tirades and forgive them. Ouch!#%$&*! Now that that tooth is pulled and is not hurting you anymore the next step is to do a no strings attached blessing of that person, knowing all the while that you are doing it to Jesus. The next thing is to pray that this sort of craziness would begin to spread.
What do you see when you crack open that door????

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Why We Fight

why we fight
This will have to be the next movie I rent. It has remained on the shelf after numerous viewings of the package, but next time it's coming home. The website has some great footage to whet your appetite and the header on the movie poster really caught my eye. It says ' It is nowhere written that the American empire goes on forever.'. I have, in the light of biblical history of empires, been spouting this kind of stuff for years; kinda nice to see it out there in black and white.
Anyway, that's my tribute to movies. If you are interested in giving an opinion on the worst movie of all time just go to my buddy Dawson's blog. The battle is raging on there.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Is It Really Here!!???

While reading Rik Leaf's blog it is impossible not to find yourself getting lost in thought, or thoughts. Not in a melancholic way, mostly, but in a way that makes you search out where you really stand. I often look down at my own two feet after reading his posts or listening to his podcast. Kudos to him from the gallery of people in an egregiously underwhelmed society.
This one of his latest posts is poignantly simple....I love it.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Device To Root Out Evil

2007-02-03, originally uploaded by feshyasdad.

I went to Vancouver with a friend this last weekend and while walking along the seawall area I came across this sculpture. I could say a lot of things about it, but this time I will leave it to the brave few who want to leave a comment. The inset shows the plaque which gave the sculpter's name and the title of his work.
So what do you think????

Saturday, January 27, 2007

In The Beginning

Thanks to the Moscow Times for this article. It is such a joy to see the changes that have allowed for a wide and varied expression of love for God in Russia. Read the article all the way through and you will find some surprises given the source of the article. Yeah God!

PS While your checking out foreign papers try this for podcast news from the JP.

Winter in.......Abbotsford???

DSCN0327, originally uploaded by feshyasdad.DSCN0326

Believe it or not this was taken a week or so before Christmas at my folks place in Abbotsford, B.C.. It doesn't happen often, but for all the folks who chuckle at the Fraser Valley and their idea of winter here ya go. They didn't even have to call in the army or anything, brave folks that they are.

A Humbling Thought

This is a quote that I found and the link above will take you to the site where I found it online. I actually read it in the latest newsletter from Voice of the Martyrs. The content is slightly different and may have been edited for the newsletter, but the story is the same. The sovereignty of God can be a fearful thing if we forget the 'mad love' at the center of it all. We must also remember that at the center of sove-reign-ty there lies reign.

The Unreasonableness of God

Pastor%20WurmbrandBy Pastor Richard Wurmbrand

Taken from an excerpt of his book"The Oracles of God"

I shared and viewed the sufferings of many fellow prisoners in an underground Communist prison. What intrigued us the most was that we did not obtain from heaven what it was obviously reasonable to us to expect: a slight improvement in our situation, food to quiet our hunger, and abatement of our cruel torture. We did not get what we expected because heaven is not - humanly speaking - reasonable.

Jesus said, "There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:7)". This is surely not reasonable (from a human standpoint).

Nowhere does the Bible speak about the "reasonableness" of God, according to man's reasoning. Was it reasonable to sacrifice the unique Son of God for witless, dirty, dumb sheep? I have asked many shepherds what they would do if they saw a wolf. They all replied, "We would run for our lives". No man dies for sheep (at least not a "reasonable" one). Yet the Lord Jesus Christ did. He died for beings much worse than sheep - for those who denied and betrayed Him, for those who demanded His crucifixion. He died for His killers and prayed that the Father forgive them. Would you say that Jesus' actions were "reasonable"?

Do not be surprised if you fail to get from God what you might reasonably expect. If He were truly "reasonable", He would never listen to the prayers of sinners like us who continue to disobey Him time and time again. If God were truly "reasonable" we wouldn't even have salvation. Rather, our God listens, loves and forgives far beyond the point of folly and "reason".

If you feel that you are in the sad situation of not being able to understand His reason, nor feel His mad love, just remember that following Christ is not about logic or reason or some great feeling that you are hoping to experience - IT'S ABOUT FAITH! Those who are faithful will continue to press forward even when God doesn't make any sense to them and even when it feels as if He is not with them. Those who are faithful will stand strong in their belief of the teaching of Hebrews 13:5: "I will never leave you nor forsake you".

When in solitary confinement, I waited for years for God to come to my aid. In solitary we were happy about His mad love even in moments when we did not "feel" it.

Do not count on "reasonableness" from heaven and you will never be disappointed. Do not expect God to operate according to your limited and sinful ways of thinking and you will never be upset with Him for not answering your prayers in the way that you want them answered. Count only on the fact that He loves you to such folly that He condescended to leave His throne and come down into a sin cursed world to die for you. Forget about sweet "reason" and continue to follow Him no matter what your circumstances may be. For as faithful Job once said, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him".

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Some Statuary For Pasha

Here are the pics I promised Pasha. They show the connection that has existed between the former Soviet Union and China in their modern ideological beliefs. Both countries display a flair for the aggrandisement of the people they are portraying. Modern day heroes, eh? It does have a certain appeal.

Dec 25,03 (1)

Apr 04 (78)

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Different Point Of View

This is an article worth checking out. I don't know at this point if the US media would give this kind of coverage or slant to what this guy is saying, but the Chinese media usually has an interesting take on things.
As an aside, if you want to check out some great pics from all over China check out this link. Do yourself a favour though and install the east asian language packs or you'll be pop-up killing all the way through it.
My own personal take on the above article is that the U.S. has long worked at keeping the rest of the world at arms length. By this I mean that they are quite content to keep people at a level beneath them so that they can continue to ensure their own lifestyle at the expense of the rest of the world. They, of course, are not the only ones, but they are the largest and most visible from our northern vantage point. It really is no wonder to me that the Arab world has such a hate on for them, nor that the enemies of the U.S. would find ample allies in the 3rd world. The rape of the nations to fuel Notrth American comfort will only go on for so long before the balance shifts. History has always shown this to be true. Just yesterday I was reminded that when the Nazis began their rise to world domination they had the most powerful army on the planet which, if not for multiple armed forces converging on them, would have achieved its ultimate goal. The U.S. is currently the most powerful armed force on earth, but again, this means nothing in historical terms. The current government in China owes its origins to the last one pissing off enough poor people that they finally rose up. The U.S. needs to understand the responsibility it has to the rest of the world is not to try to export its idea of democracy or lifestyle, but rather to aid in bringing other nations to a place of self sufficiency. They need to seek equality around the globe, but not base it upon their own ideologies. The fiasco in Iraq is a prime example of what happens when we try to cram our ideals down someone else's throat. Saddam needed to go, but the nation of Iraq does not need to be a little america. Iraq needs to be Iraq just as much as I need to be who I am and you need to be you. The war, the oil, the politics aside our leaders need to seek cultural and socio-economic peace rather than ideological peace. I believe dictators would have a lot less chutzpah if they were in a world united across these lines rather than the current pool of paranoid naval-gazers we have now. Boy, do we ever need to pray for our leaders. They NEED Christ now!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Too Cute

So this morning when our smiley 3 year old Ethan scooted up to the table for breakfast I was constrained to inquire as to where he obtains his seeming limitless supply of cuteness. Without batting an eye he said

God put His peace in me and He put His strength in me so that is where I get my cuteness
Sept 17,06 (4)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Well Nathan, it has been awhile so here goes.
5 Things you may not know about me.

#1. I used to have a dog named Snoopy, but she was a she not a he.

#2 Most of my life has been spent in B.C., but I was born in the prairies.

#3 I only got into construction because during the days I was doing drugs it was the easiest thing to get into. I have found out though, that you don't actually have to be stoned to be a carpenter, or at least to be a good one.

#4 I started smoking on the night of my grade 12 graduation. It has been said that if you haven't started by then you probably never will. I always seem to leave things right to the end.

P.S. Been quit now for 8 years now

#5 I'd still pick S'toon over Kelowna for a place to live in Canada. Course I've never been to Cornerbrook.

So there you go. Since I don't know who all reads this thing you'll have to leave some sign of your passing for me to know where your tag is.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

There Can Be Only One

Hey, any Highlander fans out there? That one was for all those who think the first movie was the best and only one.

It does refer to the context of this post though, because someone else said there can be only one. Before diving into who what and why, though, lets first peruse some visual history.

Exhibit 1
No intro needed here. Even when I asked my wife for a list of historical baddies this guy topped the list. He has come to represent evil personified. Old Adolf is still number one.
Exhibit 2
This man also hit the list in the same order when I asked my wife. Papa Stalin, king of the political purge. Blood of the masses for the masses was his credo. We must be headed somewhere with this, right?? Right.
Exhibit 3
A little more modern feel to this expose of Dudley Do-wrongs. Mr. Milosevic definitely belongs here for his all out attempt to eradicate an entire people group from his country. Just as much Haman here as with baddie #1, the genocidal maniacs club seems to like company. Is that why Mr. M is on this particular list though? Nope!
Exhibit 4
Remember this guy? No, it's not Martin, it's Idi. The Ugandan butcher himself. Wow, this doesn't seem to follow even racial guidelines. Everyone is welcome, as long as they have the credentials, but what are those?
Exhibit 5
madam mao
Oops, nope, it's not gender related either. Madam Mao is here too, to represent the ladies out there who may have started to feel a little too secure in their gender credentials. This gal could rip and tear with the best of them, and for now she will round out the dean's list. Just for now, though.
Oddly enough the inspiration for this post came out of this morning's worship time as I focused on the majesty of our Father, the beauty of Jesus, and the power of the Spirit. All it took was the above mentioned quote to stir some thoughts. 'There is only one good' is what Jesus said when someone called Him 'good teacher'. It seems to me that He was implying to the person His own divine identity, but the fact remains that He said that God is the only good guy out there. That leaves a whole lot of people on the other side of that line, doesn't it? My wife indicated to me just the other day that my own divine resemblance was lacking of late so I know where I stand in relation to that line. Sadly, since Eden, we have all found ourselves born on the wrong side of that line. The other thing is that emigration policy on this side is pretty stiff. We gotta concede the truth of where we are. It can be difficult to do though, because we tend to gather people around us who like us and hopefully don't mind telling us so. That's not all bad since we are told to encourage each other, but it can narrow the view if we only look there for an accurate portrayal of who we are. Every once in awhile we need to climb up on a ladder to peer out over the heads of our peers and see from whence we have come. From that vantage point the hit list above suddenly starts popping out at us. From that vantage point we get a fuller view of the mirror. It ain't pretty is it?
I know I start to look for some way to look away at this point, but He tells me to not forget what I have seen. Eeeek! This gets uncomfortable. How can I be like those guys and gals. They are the dregs, aren't they??? Ain't I floating somewhere near the top of the barrel looking down?? Nope, it's all flat here (sorry S'toon pals, no jab intended). The murdering thugs in the pictures were gathered into my corral when Jesus said that being angry at my brother was the same as murder. The worst skid row hooker is in with the one with the wondering eye. AAaaahhh, what will I do??? He didn't come and lower the bar. He didn't come and eradicate the bar. He came and showed us where it really is, un-freaking-reachably far above us. He showed us that the bar is God Himself. There is only 1 who is good. Suddenly I am faced with the reality of my position. The good thing is that it happened while I was beholding God. This revelation of our place leaves us at His mercy alone, and that is a good place to be. A good place because when the Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin it will be for the sin of not believing in His mercy, and we can only truly believe this when we are seeing ourselves for who we truly are. What a wonderful liberty ensues the fervent grasping of this truth. Freedom reigns in this place where we understand the fullness of God's great mercy towards us. In fact when I looked at these guys during that time of worship I realised the mercy of God in a new way. The mercy He had on these people. The food they had to eat. The beauty their eyes took in. The very breath in their nostrils was mercy. The very breath in my nostrils is mercy, the fragrance of God.