Sunday, October 30, 2005

Clergy Appreciation Month

It's difficult to express how much I appreciate the cards that have been sent over these past few weeks in recognition of Clergy Appreciation Month.

I don't think we ever get to the place where an encouraging word or a 'thank you' does not lift us and inspire us. Just yesterday, for example, one of our dear ladies gave our leadership group a beautiful cake which said to all of us "we appreciate you." What a joy!

Thank you church for your overflow of grace and kindness. You're the best. I've sent you a card which you can view by clicking here.


Some More Fun and a Hint

Did you know that God not only wants us to work, He wants us to play and have fun. Even though my schedule is hectic, I still make time to do other things. For example, Friday night is date night. Susan and I spend quality time together having dinner, shopping or whatever we feel like doing. We've done this all our married life and I still look forward to those evenings.

So, instead of being serious this morning, I thought I'd share some fun stuff. But first, a hint to solving yesterday's puzzle. Some books are not single words. Does that help? I suppose I should make up a legend like they do for personality tests...

Okay, if you can only find 5 or less you might want to join Wee College where they learn all the books of the Bible. If you can only find 6-10 maybe one of our Kids Church kids could mentor you. And if you locate 11-15, you're not only a Bible scholar, you're probably under the age of 50!

Susan subscribes to Mikey's Funnies and she got this in her mailbox the other day:

John was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place.

Looking up toward heaven, he said, "Lord, take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to church every Sunday for the rest of my life and give up beer."

Just then a parking place miraculously appeared!

John looked up again and said, "Never mind. I found one!"

Hope you laughed.

Have a restful Sunday. I'm leaving this evening for the Philippines and China.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Are you Smarter than my Students?

Every September, I have my new students at Pacific Life Bible College do this little puzzle. There are 15 names of bible books in the next paragraph. You have 3 minutes to circle all of them.

* * * *

Once remarks were made about hidden books of the Bible. It was a lulu, kept some people actually looking so hard for the facts and studying for the revelation, they were in a jam, especially since the books were not capitalized. But the truth finally struck numbers of readers. To others it was a real job. We want it to be a most fascinating few moments for you. Yes, there will be some that are easy to spot. Others may require judges to determine. We must also admit it usually takes a minute to find one, and there will be loud lamentations when you see how simple it is. One little lady says she brews a coffee while she puzzles her brains.

* * * *

Okay, how'd you do?

L'érudition de la française langue est dur! [I hope this means that learning French is hard!]


Friday, October 28, 2005

Another Travelblog

It was in the pouring rain last Saturday (October 22) that we set out for the Faith Community Church in Dartmouth. Pastors Reid and Bonnie Stairs and their church joined our Foursquare family eight years ago. They meet in the local movie theatre.

Susan and I felt at home as soon as we entered the building. I don’t know if it’s the fact that we are of the same church family or because of the warm Atlantic personality, but we knew we were loved immediately. I loved the way Pastor Reid and their gifted worship team led the service. We would easily adapt to this as our home church if we lived in Dartmouth. I sensed it would be the same in any of our Maritime churches.

I used my Life Journey story about Psalm 23 when I spoke to the group. There’s always a good number of people who can identify with David’s description of his life experiences in the “valley of the shadow of death.” I love the blessings that flow from the valleys of our lives. There are seven that the psalmist mentions:

· The presence of God (you are with me)
· God disciples me (his rod comforts me)
· God communicates with me (his staff comforts me)
· He nourishes me spiritually (the table God prepares)
· I am anointed for my destiny (He anoints my head with oil)
· I am satisfied (my cup is filled)
· People around me receive benefit (my cup runs over)

Of course, all of these blessing from the valley are available only to those who are receptive.

After church, we were whisked off to a sumptuous lunch at the home of a couple of church elders (John and Sue). By 1:30, Susan and I and Jim and Carol Rogers were on the road again, headed to Moncton, New Brunswick. Our destination was a retreat centre in Alma. It poured throughout the four hour ride, but even in the rain, the countryside was awesome. I couldn’t help but stop along the way to snap some pictures.

Alma was a treat. They have a small house-church who meet in the quaint seaside community. Forrest and Jean serve as the pastors. We, of course, were fed again in their home (another few pounds of irresistible cuisine). After dinner the group met with Susan, Jim, Carol and me for an intimate worship service. I taught on the model prayer that Jesus taught his disciples and us to pray. I was delighted by not only the love and unity of the group (they call themselves The Healing Waters Foursquare Church) but also by the sense of purpose they feel. Their heart is to serve the larger community and the world is easy to identify.

A quick look in Forrest’s and Jean’s garage gives away their love for missions. The group has already prepared three hundred Christmas boxes to send to Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse project. In every box for young girls, for example, they’ve sewn and prayed over a home-made skirt. Much of the contents of the three hundred boxes has been hand-made with love and prayer.

In addition to the Operation Christmas Child boxes, there is a mountain of clothes and other gifts ready to send off to a mission in Honduras. And when they pray for Foursquare families in India there are tears in their eyes.

After the service, we were whisked off to a beautiful four room Inn, which is owned by Peter and Barb, who are part of the group. It overlooks the Bay of Fundy which has the peculiarly famous fifty foot tide. Every twelve hours (at about an inch a minute) the tide rises and falls on schedule. As a matter of fact they have a tide clock which is as accurate as any clock.

After a good sleep and a wonderful breakfast, we left for Moncton, where we booked into our hotel (the Chateau Moncton) located on the Chocolate River (it flows with chocolate coloured water).

Susan and I picked up a PT Cruiser from Avis to take us to PEI, while Jim and Carol spent the day in St. John on church business. Our day trip to see Charlottetown and Anne of Green Gables cottage was a sensuous pleasure. The autumn coloured trees, the myriad of white steepled churches (mostly Wesleyan, Presbyterian, Baptist and United) the Tim Hortons, (sometimes three in a mile) and the picturesque Victorian farm houses were unforgettable.

Finally we arrived at our destination---the Anne of Green Gables tourist town. Although it was very cold and windy, and the whole display was locked up for winter, we jumped the fence and toured it anyway. Susan was thrilled to see the familiar sights from her childhood reading.

After a stop at Tim Hortons for chili, we headed back to the Chateau Moncton for a good night’s rest. In the morning, before boarding our plane, we picked up some lobsters for Tom and Jeremy (our sons-in-law).

We rushed to beat the incoming storm Wilma, which was blowing into Moncton fresh from Florida. It’s always good to be headed home again. Before I was even home, I had started working on my sermon because Sunday was fast approaching. It’s going to be a busy time as I prepare to leave for the Philippines and China in a few days.

While back east, I picked up a pack of CD’s and a book to learn French in a few hours—that will be my 2006 personal project (and perhaps some more attempts at self denial when it comes to delicious food!).

Bénédictions mon ami,



Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Heading Homeward

Yesterday we enjoyed ourselves touring Prince Edward Island seeing the sights, meeting the incredible people and tasting the great food.

Here are some webcams for you to see what is happening:

We are now headed home.


P.S. We are thankful we will not witness the effects of Wilma which forecasters believe will not hit the Atlantic Provinces as previously thought. After the storm we experienced in Barcelona and on the ship, we were not looking forward to any more incredible displays of nature.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

One More Thing

I neglected to mention that the three shows I did on Life Purpose will not air until the first week of December. I'll post further details soon.

The sky is overcast and a light rain greeted us this morning but nothing compared to the rain BC has been experiencing.

Our home church is in our thoughts and prayers this morning. We miss seeing each of you. Oh, and thanks, Rick, for letting us know the buildings are still standing. Guess I'm not really needed. Actually, that's a principle I often share. If I've done my job right, the church should run well with or without me. Because it's not about me, it's about doing God's work.

Okay, end of mini sermon. Have a blessed Sunday.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

News from the Conference in Atlantic Canada

A rainbow of fall coloured trees; the historic entry point of our forefathers in the Halifax Harbour, the quaint homes surrounding many natural lakes, and the gracious Atlantic people have made our trip to Nova Scotia a highlight of this year.

Today we are taking a paddlewheel cruise throughout the Halifax Harbour. It was at the close of World War I that a munitions ship errantly steered off course into another ship and blew up. The explosion was as destructive as any bomb up to Hiroshima. Houses, lands and people, on both sides of the Harbor, were blasted and devastated by the force. Hundreds of people lost their lives and evidence of the tragedy still remains.

Our Pastor's Conference has been phenomenal. There's an intangible, but fragrant flavor, to the Foursquare family that has been evident throughout this week. The Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada began out of a revival sparked by the ministry of our founder Aimee Semple McPherson in 1928. Anna Britton was chosen as our first leader and sent young, zealous evangelistic pastor's across the nation.

It was often because of dramatic physical healings that churches sprung up from Vancouver to Halifax. Over the years that followed, sometimes due more to enthusiasm than business acumen, many of those churches; did not survive. Some became part of the PAOC denomination.

Today we have churches in almost every province including the Yukon. So, once every two years we get together for a Pastor's Conference, and in the other years, for a General Convention. (BTW, I have made a CD on the Foursquare Gospel Church--who we are and what we believe. Please contact me if you wish to purchase a copy.)

This year in Halifax, we are enjoying a Pastor's and Leader's Conference which has several purposes with a priority of relationship. I spoke with a guest at this conference just yesterday. He is a retired pastor in a well respected Canadian Evangelistic Denomination whose son and grandson have become Foursquare Pastors. As a Non-Pentecostal, he had some concerns when his two protégées declared themselves to be Pentecostals. After sitting through two meetings and chatting with a variety of other pastors from across the nation, he said to me, "Now I understand what my son means when he says he's found more than a denomination--he's found a family." He loved the godly, enthusiastic relational, doctrinally sound culture that his son and grandson had found!

The theme of our Pastor's Conference has been Taking Care of Business. That business, of course, all falls under the covering of the kingdom of God, but includes the spectrum of financial reports, the process of transition from the presidency of Tim Peterson to whomever is chosen in 2007, the capital campaign of our National Bible College PLBC to "spiritual" business.

I have served as the plenary speaker and my four presentations have focussed on my life verse, Exodus 18:20, where old Jethro counselled his son-in-law-Moses to prioritize three areas of Ministry:
  • Teach the Word
  • Teach the Way
  • Teach the Walk
If you attended the conference and have some questions from my sermons, feel free to email me.

In addition to the Plenary Sessions, which included a pivotal message from our President, we have covered a variety of subjects:

1. Connecting with Foursquare Missions in 140 nations
2. Foursquare Care
3. Reproducing Churches
4. Lifeline form Pacific Life Bible College
5. Tweens and Teens

All will be available soon on CD from the Foursquare Canada web page.

To me, the relationships have been the highlight of our conference. I've met my brothers and sisters from across the country. There's nothing I enjoy more than listing to the gripping accounts of what God is doing from Vancouver Island to St. John New Brunswick. I've been fascinated by the stories I've heard and the lunches, coffee breaks and dinners together have been key places to share our passions and interests; as well as to care for each other and practice the healing power of hearty laughter.

Tomorrow, Susan and I will be in Dartmouth and have the honor of speaking at the Foursquare Church pastored by Reid and Bonnie Stairs and then we head to Alma, New Brunswick (a picturesque retreat centre) to meet with Forrest MacArthur's house church in the evening.

I'm so looking forward to meeting several more real Maritimers. I'll write more later about our experiences.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

On the Road Again

I was up early this morning, showered, dressed and had a time of prayer before 6:30 am. Then I sat down with my coffee and went over my sermon. I always do that on Sunday morning. And even though I'm not a morning person, I feel like I have to get up early, go through my sermon, practice it and ensure I'm in the mood I should be before I preach.

This was a really important sermon today. We were in Chapter 6 of the Red Thread and I was speaking about the crucifixion. I especially wanted to be in the right zone when I spoke about the cross because it is the core of everything we believe.

My three core points were: Giving that begins at the cross has a great reward, Thanksgiving that begins at the cross moves us into God's presence, and Forgiveness that begins at the cross releases God's grace.

At the end of my sermon, I shared with my congregation a story that came from a service I subscribe to. I loved it:

"A missionary took a film about Jesus to the jungles of East Asia. Not only had these people never heard of Jesus, they'd never even seen a motion picture. Hard to imagine in this day and age, eh?

The people sat quietly and watched as this good man Jesus healed the sick and was adored by children. But when he was being beating by jeering soldiers, the people became upset. They began to shout at the cruel men on the screen, demanding that this outrage stop.

When the movie continued to play, the people tried to stop the missionary who was running the projector. Quickly, he stopped the movie and explained that the story wasn't over yet. Everyone sat down and the film resumed.

However, once the scene about Christ's crucifixion was before them, the people began to weep and wail. It became so loud that once again the movie had to be stopped. The missionary spent a great deal of time explaining that the story wasn't over and tried to calm them. Eventually, they sat down again and the film continued.

Then came the resurrection. Pandemonium broke out this time. Each of them were so excited that a party erupted. The people were dancing and slapping each other on the back. Christ is risen!

Each of these men, women and children accepted Christ as their saviour and will live eternally. Truly, the cross is the pathway to the throne."

If you would like to order a copy of my full sermon, please call the church office (604-942-7711). The cost is $3.00 plus shipping.

This evening, Susan and I will be leaving for the Pastor's Conference in Halifax. We will make a quick stop in Winnipeg where I will tape three shows presenting my Life Purpose program. I am not certain when these will air, but I will post the dates and times as soon as I know them.

My week has been a bit of a rush. I tried to limit some of my appointments, but it seems that when I go to work I am always booked up with people. Thus I spent my evenings preparing for the coming week. I already mentioned I'm not a morning person, but I also just realized, I'm not an evening person either. I think my peak time is about 15 minutes in the afternoon!

Still, I had lots to do each night because I am doing the three television interviews plus 5 sermons in Halifax for the pastors -- which I count very important. In addition to all of this, I had to prepare 20 sermons for the Philippines and create a little notebook/study guide to give to the pastors. It’s about 40 pages. I also had the covers printed. Now, the printer did me a favour and put a rush on my order for these covers which came back on Wednesday. Unfortunately, they were the wrong size – they were 11 x 17 instead of 8-1/2 x 11. So I called the printer and advised a mistake had been made. So they rushed again and finally they arrived on Friday afternoon at 5:00 pm but still the wrong size. We will make do. We’ll reprint the insides and make it fit the covers which are very nice.

I was also putting together some bible study guides for The Red Thread and those covers as well.

Oh, and on Wednesday I finally got my passport back. They put a rush on it. Of course, I’m a suspect now because I lost my passport earlier this year when it went through the wash. So technically, I didn’t lose it, but I had to get a new passport and because I have received two new ones this year, I can only get a passport for a year at a time. This is the reason it took longer to get approved because now I am a criminal suspect. Once we got the passports, we were able to take them to get our China Visas which will be ready next week. I don't recommend going through all of this, by the way.

Our team got back from Costa Rica on Friday and I talked with Pastor Gord on Saturday and he said it was the most successful trip they had ever had. They put up a building for the mission station there where they do some teachings. And the people had the floor boards and some framing up before our group arrived. While there, they put on the roof, the walls, stuccoed it, built the inside wall, and put in a bathroom. They almost built this entire building in one week, plus putting on services, kids crusades, and meetings in schools. They did an phenomenal job and Gord will be sharing some of this with our church next Sunday.

Yesterday morning we had a prayer breakfast for the city councillors, mayors, MLAs, and MPs and I was in charge of that. We invited all the politicians, the school boards, the fire chiefs, and the police chiefs to prayer. We had a really good attendance, and all the pastors (about 15 of them) prayed for the politicians. They loved it. Then we had breakfast together at the Executive Inn. I thoroughly enjoyed myself . . . even if I did have to be up early again.

And come to think of it, I had to be up really early on Friday too. This week I didn’t get a chance to study my lesson material for the class I teach at Pacific Life Bible College, so I had to study for a couple of hours before I had to be there (8:00 am).

But I digress . . . back to Saturday. After the prayer breakfast, I had a wedding in the afternoon. The bride attends our church and the Bible school. It was amazing because here’s a wedding in October when it always rains (or any other month for that matter here in BC). At school on Friday morning she asked me if I would please pray that the sun shines on Saturday. She somehow thought I had more faith, but I didn’t have any faith it would be sunny.

So I said, “Well, if it rains, we’ll just have the wedding inside.”

The bride and groom had planned this wedding on the balcony at the golf course, for some reason. Of course it is beautiful with the trees changing colour but the forecast was for storms.

Yet, the sun broke out, the sky was vivid blue and clear, and the trees just glistened. She got married out on the patio and it was beautiful. You can thank her for the lovely day you enjoyed as I am sure God rewarded her for her faith. (And no, that is not my piece of cake. I learned my lesson on the cruise.)

As most of you know, I am embarking on a radio program scheduled for some test markets in the new year. Last week I completed two programs and will be taking them with me this week as I will be meeting the people involved in this area of ministry. At the point, it looks like the programs will air in Toronto and possibly Winnipeg, but my friend tells me that won't stop BCers from listening. Apparently you can listen to radio on your computer. I'll keep you posted.

Please pray for Susan and I while we are away this week. Thanks!


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Barcodes for Humans?

Thanks to the blog reader who asked this question. I never really thought about it too much but did a little checking and here's what I'm thinking.

First off, how are humans like a can of peas? The answer, in the very near future, will be we both have barcodes which will reveal everything inside of us.

That’s the idea behind the VeriChip, a rice sized microchip which can be implanted under your skin. The VeriChip ID has recently been approved by the US FDA for medical use in humans. Theoretically if a person is unable to speak, doctors can scan and quickly be linked to a data base with critical information—the person’s identity, blood type, allergies and medical history.

If you think this is a strange far-off Star Wars concept, think again. Already thousands of microchips have been implanted in pets and livestock for identification. If your implanted dog is lost it can be easily scanned to determine where he belongs. In cattle, it is used to track things like mad-cow disease.

Members of the drug cartel in South America reportedly get implanted with similar scans because they are subject to kidnapping. In Mexico the attorney general and his top aides have been chipped for security reasons. In Spain, at the Baja Beach Club, patrons can get a micro-chip with their financial information implanted. They can pay for drinks with a simple swipe of the arm.

Of course, that’s one of the many fears that opponents to the VeriChip are talking about. The two likely next steps to the human barcode are our financial records and mandatory implementation. The idea makes some sense. It’s easy to see how the implanted chip could replace our driver’s license, ID cards, passports and even credit cards.

It’s also very conceivable that like passports and driver’s licenses, they could be almost mandatory. Of course, you don’t have to have a driver’s license, but getting around is difficult without one. And try crossing any border these days without a passport (or being on a vacation and have your passport stolen . . . but we won't go there right now).

Other objectives are: adverse tissue reaction, electrical hazards, migration of the implanted transponder and of course, privacy issues. Theoretically somebody could easily walk by you with a reader device hidden in his backpack and have instant access to whatever records you have stored in your implant.

For those of us who have read the Bible, the use of imbedded microchips comes as no surprise. It is frightening how closely the Revelation of John describes the implantation and use of these amazing devices. The prophetic book written by the Apostle John almost two thousand years ago describes a world leader called the Anti-Christ who develops a global tracking and record keeping system. Ultimately, anyone who does not implant this device will not be allowed to travel, buy or sell.

Although the VeriChip is not what the Bible calls the “mark of the Beast”, it is undoubtedly a forerunner. It could take years of experimentation before the actual system will be put in place. It is good to be wary of any microchip implants. Although it is an ingenious system and will have many benefits for the modern consumer and merchandiser, its upside will one day be outweighed by a malevolent world ruler who will be determined to hold the world’s population under his control. The Bible does tell us clearly that we will know and be loudly warned before that day comes.

Meanwhile think carefully before you agree to having a barcode planted under your skin. Ask questions. What is the upside? What are the dangers?

(AKA 780863 185779)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Back to Work

Emotionally it is very draining to get back into the flow of the work again, especially since there was a lot waiting for me when I returned.

As a result, I am trying spend most of my time with leadership and practicing the Pareto Principle: which is the 20%/80% principle. If I put 80% of my time into the 20% of those that are reproducing, which is the leadership of the church, that is the best investment of my time. Typically, pastors spend 80% of their time with the most needy 20% and then they have 20% to give to the rest of the church.

But Jesus spent most of his time, by far, with the leadership (his 12 disciples) and then 20% with the multitudes. I am trying to follow that pattern and it is very hard because you have to say no to certain people.

Over the next coming weeks, I will be practicing what I'm saying.

When I go to the Atlantic, for convention in Halifax, afterward, I will spend some time with the pastors of the 7 churches there. Then I will come back home and 4 days later, I will fly to the Philippines. But before I leave I have a prayer breakfast with the city leaders -- the mayors and councillors. Then on Sunday, I leave right after church for the Philippines for 16 days where I will be speaking to, and encouraging, pastors.

I will be back for about a week and then my brother Rob, the president of the Bible College, and I will be spending 2-3 days every week for the next 4 weeks with pastors from across Canada. We will be in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Vancouver Island.

Plus, I will be stopping in Winnipeg and a presentation of Life Purpose. I will find out when that will be on TV and will try to remember to post it here.

So, I'd better get back to my work. I wonder if there is a way I could do only 20% and have 80% miraculously done for me?


Monday, October 10, 2005

I May Have Found the Secret to Happiness But . . .

. . . I now need to learn the secret to self denial.

I didn't think I had a problem. But then we went on our cruise. Twelve days with every culinary temptation known to man thrust in my face, day in and day out. What was I to do? It was a momentary slip, really. Once I returned from our trip, I was back to my usual self.

Until yesterday.

Did I limit myself to just one piece of Susan's incredible pie? No.

Did I have just a little dab of whipped cream? No.

But I refuse to think about all that right now. So in order to take my mind off food, here are some pictures of our trip:

These are our good friends, Vern and Diane whom we met up with in Paris and again in Nice near the beginning of our trip.

Believe it or not, we actually did other things besides eat.

Every night was an absolute feast on the cruise ship. I won't tell you how much weight I gained.

It was amazing to see the choices we had, from Chinese to French cuisine, from Spanish to English. Delicious food was more plentiful than the air we were breathing . . . or so it seemed.

Okay, I think maybe I need an intervention. All these pictures are making me hungry and I already ate today.

I will have to upload some more pictures just to prove we actually did other things besides visit the dining room.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

I spent some time on Saturday cutting up the last of the apples from our trees in preparation for our Thanksgiving celebration today. Susan makes the most phenomenal apple pies. In fact, she is a really good baker and made some great pumpkin pies, as well, from the pumpkins we had last year at Halloween.

As our family is gathering for the holiday celebration, including a birthday party for our eldest daughter, Kelly, and our grandson, Max, I am reminded of a not so unique principle I shared in my latest book, The Secret to Happiness.

For the last two Sundays, I've been teaching about the two kingdoms. One is the kingdom of darkness that all of us fell into when Adam and Eve sinned. We are born into this kingdom ruled illegally by satan. When we become believers in Jesus, he transferred us out of that kingdom He calls darkness, into the kingdom which He calls light. Even though we are still in the same world, we now have to live by new rules and a new culture and it is not always easy.

In the kingdom that we were brought up in we learn that $100 minus $10 equals $90. That's human mathematics. But in God’s kingdom, it doesn’t work that way. For example, thousands of people were following Jesus and had been for 2-3 days. There were perhaps 8-10 thousand people since the Bible says there were 5,000 men. So Jesus turns to His disciples and says “how are we going to feed these thousands of people that are here?”

Philip immediately began thinking the way he had learned in school and said, “well, lets just work this out. It would cost about $2 for a sandwich for everyone of these people and there are about 10,000 of them. That would be about $20,000. If we each of us count our money we have $43. There is no way."

So here is a kingdom problem trying to be solved by human reasoning, and it doesn’t work. The principle that Jesus is teaching, is one I call the Abundance Principle.

Next, Andrew comes up and very simply, almost naively says, “well, Jesus there is this young boy here and he has 5 little buns and 2 sardines.” That took a lot of courage for him to say that because it does sound absolutely stupid that a kid’s lunch, a couple of tuna sandwiches, would feed 10,000. But Andrew was seeing something that Philip never saw. Philip was looking through human thinking and Andrew was looking through kingdom thinking, the kingdom of light and he saw potential.

So that is the concept I have been teaching and I used the illustration of my travelling over the last month to all of the different cultures that we went to. When you go to a new culture you have to adjust your thinking process to think like they think. So, we have moved into the kingdom of light and now we have to learn live in this new kingdom by kingdom rules and this principle of abundance is the very principle I wrote about in my book.

Of course the secret to happiness, simply put, is giving. The Bible says it is more blessed to give than to receive and there is a blessing upon anybody that gives. So therefore if you give away you have more than you if you keep it for yourself. But this is completely opposite to what we have learned so it is very difficult to get that through our minds.

Now to practice what I preach, this morning in church I gave a copy of my book to anyone who attended. (If you are reading this blog and would like a copy, you may purchase it at cost, $6.00, plus shipping and handling.)

Since it is Thanksgiving, I wanted to use this book and the abundance principle to emphasize the power of thanksgiving and how it actually affects the health of our spirit, soul and body. Spiritually, being thankful releases the flow of grace in the kingdom of God because we get our eyes off ourselves and put our eyes on God. It also does something to our psyche/soul. Doctors tell us that 75% of our sicknesses and illnesses can not be cured through medicine or through surgery. They have always resisted the idea that spiritual values or a spiritual belief system helped but now many doctors, including a neurosurgeon I quoted this morning in my sermon, believe that the Christian thinking processes can actually improve our emotional and mental health. This process breaks the bondage, such as bitterness, unforgiveness, cynicism, gossip, jealousy, envy, and hate, that debilitates us. Physically when we break out of our negative thinking and begin to think with Christian values such as thankfulness, thanksgiving, giving or forgiving, those Christian virtues have a spiritual, social and emotional power. Puffs of nitric oxide are released in our brain and they facilitate the release of endorphins and dopamine which are the body’s natural painkillers and healers. So physical wellness, doctors are actually finding out through brain scans, actually comes through these spiritual values such as thanksgiving, giving and forgiving. This is an amazing concept.

As we gather this evening with family, including my brother-in-law Bob and his wife Nancy from Bellingham, we will be sharing about the things we are thankful for, giving gifts to Kelly and Max and ensuring we are living kingdom principles. Plus, I will be sure to have some of Susan's amazing pumpkin pie, with whipped cream. My favourite! I'm so thankful for my talented wife and my loving family.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Lifetime of Leadership

If you read my August 6 and 8, 2005 blogs, you already know about my friend Blossom Broussard. This week I was proud to learn that she has been given an award for her community involvement.

Presented posthumously, the Myrna Popove Lifetime of Leadership award is to recognize Blossom's achievements to consitently unify and unite and a lifetime spent recognizing, empowering and promoting community. This was Blossom. Her work involved the Teddy Bear Picnic, Coquitlam First Night Society, Coquitlam City Soccer Friendship Tournament and Operation Christmas Child. As a registered marriage commissioner, she had the privilege of uniting 89 couples.

At the awards ceremony, Blossom's husband Jerry Broussard and her sister, Candy Goodard, received standing ovations in appreciation of Blossom's long-time volunteer efforts. Her passing was indeed a loss to the community.

We miss her. We miss the laughter.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

E-mail Jail!

It's no secret to anyone who knows me, I'm not a computer geek. I'd rather do anything than spend time on the computer. Even if it is amazing. So how does someone like me wind up with a mailbox overflowing? I feel like I am in e-mail jail.

Don't get me wrong. I appreciate all my friends and family who send me anecdotes, fillers and jokes. That's what I love about this information age we live in, but I'd rather be at the dentist than wade through the backlog I currently have!

As I'm sifting through some messages, I came across this test. The email said Dr. Phil scored 55 and Oprah got 38 but I never know if this stuff is true. I found the it interesting and in case you are wondering, I'm a 44.

Supposedly, this is a real assessment given by the Human Relations Department at many of the major corporations today which helps them gain better insight concerning their employees and prospective employees. You will need a pen and paper to keep track of your letter answers.

1. When do you feel your best?
a) in the morning
b) during the afternoon and early evening
c) late at night

2. You usually walk...
a) fairly fast, with long steps
b) fairly fast, with little steps
c) less fast head up, looking the world in the face
d) less fast, head down
e) very slowly

3. When talking to people you..
a) stand with your arms folded
b) have your hands clasped
c) have one or both your hands on your hips
d) touch or push the person to whom you are talking
e) play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth your hair

4. When relaxing, you sit with..
a) your knees bent with your legs neatly side by side
b) your legs crossed
c) your legs stretched out or straight
d) one leg curled under you

5. When something really amuses you, you react with...
a) big appreciated laugh
b) a laugh, but not a loud one
c) a quiet chuckle
d) a sheepish smile

6. When you go to a party or social gathering you...
a) make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
b) make a quiet entrance, looking around for someone you know
c) make the quietest entrance, trying to stay unnoticed

7. You're working very hard, concentrating hard, and you're interrupted you.....
a) welcome the break
b) feel extremely irritated
c) vary between these two extremes

8. Which of the following colors do you like most?
a) Red or orange
b) black
c) yellow or light blue
d) green
e) dark blue or purple
f) white
g) brown or gray

9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few moments before going to sleep you are....
a) stretched out on your back
b) stretched out face down on your stomach
c) on your side, slightly curled
d) with your head on one arm
e) with your head under the covers

10. You often dream that you are...
a) falling
b) fighting or struggling
c) searching for something or somebody
d) flying or floating
e) you usually have dreamless sleep
f) your dreams are always pleasant

1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1
3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6
4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1
5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2
6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2
7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1
9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1
10. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1

Now add up the total number of points.

OVER 60 POINTS: Others see you as someone they should "handle with care." You're seen as vain, self-centered, and one who is extremely dominant. Others may admire you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply involved with you.

51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting, highly volatile, rather impulsive personality; a natural leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not always the right ones. They see you as bold and adventuresome, someone who will try anything once; someone who takes chances and enjoys an adventure. They enjoy being in your company because of the excitement you radiate.

41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively, charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting; someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head. They also see you as kind, considerate, and understanding; someone who'll always cheer them up and help them out.

31 TO 40 POINTS: Others se e you as sensible, cautious, careful and practical. They see you as clever, gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes friends too quickly or easily, but someone who's extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expect the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know you realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get over it if that trust is ever broken.

21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious, extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would really surprise them if you ever did something impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you to examine everything carefully from every angle and then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is caused partly by your careful nature.

UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy, nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking after, who always wants someone else to make the decisions and who doesn't want to get involved with anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who always sees problems that don't exist. Some people think you're boring. Only those who know you well know that you aren't.

So, what was your score?


Saturday, October 01, 2005

We're Baaaccckkkk!

We are home; safe and sound (that might be questionable). We were barely back on terra firma then started the rounds of seeing family. So much to talk about. Truly it was the trip of a lifetime.

Can you believe we took about 700 pictures? Want me to upload them here?

Though we were tired from the trip home, I went to work the next day and I'm right back into my routine. We're missing more than a day of sleep but it hasn't hit us -- yet.

Susan and I are still raving about Calella to anyone who will listen. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves there. I am certain we will be talking about this awesome vacation for a long time.

But for now, it is good to be home. If no one protests, I'll be uploading some pictures once we get them developed.