Monday, January 30, 2006

The Dedication of Babies

On Friday, I had a young couple come and see me because they wanted to baptize their baby girl. Since they don't attend our church, I explained to them the difference between baptism and dedication, which is what our church does.

The Roman Catholics, as well as many older denominations baptize or christen infants while Orthodox Jews do what Mary and Joseph did with baby Jesus—they presented him to God and had the Rabbi circumcise him on his eighth day as a sign of his consecration to God.

The Jewish ceremony goes back to God’s covenant with Israel under Abraham. To seal the covenant of blessing he Commanded Abraham that all believing Jews must be circumcised. It was a picture of cutting away the flesh on the organ which produces life. The meaning was that in order to produce spiritual life, we must die to our sinful human nature (that’s the flesh).

In the New Testament (the covenant with the church) circumcision of the male organ is no longer required. Rather we are to symbolically be circumcised in our hearts—that means our human pride has to be cut away so that we can produce life through our “circumcised” lips. Real spiritual life flows from what we say (see Romans 2: 28-29 and Colosssians 2:11).

Thus, as pure as the parents’ motives are who want their babies baptized and as good as their intent is, baptism of infants is really not required or efficacious. So, what we do is dedicate our babies to God. It’s akin to what Hannah did for her son Samuel when she gave him back to God. (I Samuel 1:28) -- although we encourage parents not to leave them at the church with the pastors, as Hannah did!

What we call dedication is more like when Jesus held and blessed the little children (Matthew 19:13-15). It has the double benefit of the parents’ desire to raise their child to love and honor God, and also God’s touch of blessing on the child and his parents.

We do not consider dedication a required ordinance, like we do baptism or communion. Thankfully, I get to do a lot of baby dedications which is one of my favourite things to do.


Happy Birthday, Jordan!

Last week, our youngest grandchild, Jordan turned two. What a delight he is. He's one of those kids who is always happy. Even when he bumps his head or when his big brother is play fighting with him, he still comes out smiling.

Our family and several friends of Kristy and Jeremy got together to celebrate Jordan's big day. There was an incredible amount of food and noise. Susan and I find it hard to believe all six grandkids are growing up so quickly — but we love every day we get to be with them.

Speaking about little Jordy. Two weeks ago his mom had a trying experience. Kristy was in her room, when Jordan and Jacob (7) got the great idea of cooking his pet monkey in their microwave. This was an expensive, talking toy monkey, so it had metal inside as well as on the outside (part of his belt). Needless to say, the monkey didn't have a chance once the microwave set it on fire.

When Kristy smelled the smoke, she rushed into the kitchen to discover the toy in flames. She snapped open the oven door, grabbed the burning animal and started to blow like crazy. Jacob was smart enough to fear his mother’s wrath, but Jordan was too stunned to understand all that was going on. He helped Kristy blow out the fire and as he did it, he sang, “Happy Birthday to you.” To him, blowing out flames is a sure sign that there’s a party going on!

I feel a little like Art Linkletter today!


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Tri-City Pastors Pray Together

On Wednesday, I spent all day fasting and praying with many of our Tri City (Port Coquitlam, Coquitlam and Port Moody) pastors at Timberline Ranch. We do this annually in addition to our regular luncheon prayer and fellowship meetings.

I’ve been amazed over the past twenty-seven years of ministry in our community, how much love and respect that we pastors, of many denominations, have for each other. We make it a point never to get in to discussions about our small differences in doctrines or about church sizes. As far as we’re concerned, we’re all brothers in the same family.

After an individual prayer walk around the expansive ranch (it was a beautiful morning and the grounds were immaculate), and a visit with the horses, we gathered together around a campfire to pray for our cities, provinces, nation and churches. I led us in a communion service before we parted for our homes.

To be honest, I went through an internal struggle to set aside a day for prayer. I thought that I had too much to do, to sacrifice a whole day. What a stupid thought!

My spiritual conflict was really the same as the one we often have when asked to give money. “No, I need this money for myself!” Or giving forgiveness, “He doesn’t deserve my love and forgiveness!” Whenever we are challenged to give, whether resources, time or love, we enter into a spiritual struggle. The devil hates us to give because our giving opens the door to God’s blessings!

Anyway, I got past my selfish feelings and went; and as always I had a spiritually and emotionally refreshing time. When I do give of myself, the rewards always more than compensate for the seeming sacrifice.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Oh, Canada

Congratulations Prime Minister Harper!

I believe as God encourages us to, that we have a responsibility and privilege to honour, respect and pray for every power who rules. Whether we like what they stand for or not, the Bible says that God raises up and puts down political leaders at his will.

All throughout history, God has used both good and bad leaders to fulfill his purpose. We were studying last night, in our Bible Study, how God purposely raised up King Cyrus in Persia to do his bidding. One hundred and fifty years before Cyrus was even born, Isaiah prophesied what his name would be, what he would do and how he would do it. Amazing!

God has a good plan for Stephen Harper. How awesome it is to have an evangelical Christian in the highest seat of our nation. We need to pray for his wisdom and courage to be experienced daily.

Whatever Mr. Harper does, good or bad, it will disappoint some Christians, who have unrealistic and lofty expectations that he should make Canada into a Christian country. At the same time, whatever he does will bring sharp criticism from antagonists who see every action as being too Christian! God bless our Prime Minister.

I believe that having an evangelical believer in the Prime Minister’s chair will take the plug out of the free flow of God’s grace in our nation. There will be a new found freedom in the spirit realm, but also a rise of spiritual opposition from the evil one who hates righteousness and godliness.

God bless our Prime Minister and the members of his parliament!


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

A Little Bit About my Trip East

Two weeks ago I travelled to Moncton. This is the second time, as you may know, that I’ve visited pastors in the Atlantic in the past 3 months. Both of my stops were helpful to me, and positively memorable. There’s something very warm, wholesome and inviting about the leaders I’ve met there.

On the Friday morning I set out in my rented Dodge Magnum for the delightful little town of Alma. The weather (apparently unusual for this season) was balmy, the sky was blue and there were only remnants of snow by the side of the road.

Leaving early, I set aside time to visit the awesome sea-side tourist attraction of The Rocks. Because the gates were closed for the winter, I parked outside and hiked the ½ km or so to the edge of the Bay of Fundy Cliffs. Alone on the viewpoint, I enjoyed a refreshing visit with the Creator.

I arrived at the magnificent bed and breakfast owned by Peter and Donna Colpitts called Falcon Ridge. Peter and Donna share lay pastoring responsibilities with Forrest and Jean. I was greeted not only with hugs and smiles from the 16 pastors who were present, but also by the aroma of an awesome home cooked meal (yes, I am still struggling with my love of food!).

We ate and talked together for an hour or so before I was asked to begin my presentation for the Bible College, Building Leaders Campaign. But first, Rose Misner, led us in an amazing time of worship. It is hard to describe the sweet spirit of worship we enjoyed together, but it was a very fitting prelude to my talk.

The theme of my presentation was not about getting churches to give their money to build a new building for PLBC, but about the principle that God wants to bless us and free us from the things that hold us back from success.

I’ve described in my book, The Secret of Happiness, the running over principle and this is what I shared with those present. My talk led to about 4 hours of healthy and fruitful discussion. As we talked about the challenges of these economically repressed Canadian provinces, my friends identified, at least three spiritual strongholds of the Atlantic region. (A stronghold is a point of enemy control, like in Iraq today. Although 95% of that country has now been freed and enjoying the benefits of their recent democratic election, about 5% of the area is controlled by terrorists. The violent insurgents literally terrorize the rest of the country.)

So it is with us. We may have subjected our souls to King Jesus, but strongholds such as fear, lust, anger, low self-esteem, insecurity, etc., keep our souls on edge. And it is the same in our churches. Strongholds can retard maturity and effectiveness – sometimes it can actually render us powerless. An example of this can be seen in the church the apostle Paul addressed in his first letter to the Corinthians (I Corinthians 11).

In the Atlantic provinces, the 3 areas that threaten the church, that the pastors identified, are:

  1. a poverty mentality (there will never be enough money – like the farmer in Luke 12:16-19 who said, “I’ll build bigger barns and keep more for myself”) with much of this thinking being rooted in the depression years.

  2. the religious spirit of the Maritimes which is like that old saying, “Grandma taught it and we bought it.” The people are not about to change their traditions, even if the new way is Biblically sound.

  3. the spirit of suspicion in acts of kindness and with outsiders. In the first instance, if I do something for someone because I feel like blessing them, they often mistakenly believe that I want something from them, so consequently, they can not accept anything from me or anyone else. The latter has to do with anyone who has not lived in the small community for at least 20 years. The citizens call them “from away people” and believe they can’t be trusted.

Every community, like every person, has strongholds which they are wrestling with. I spoke about this the Sunday I returned, as well, as I approached our second week of the Twelve Steps to Higher Ground series.

I loved the time I spent with the pastors. We agreed to continue battling any spirit which stands in opposition to God’s good plans for us who are part of the family of Foursquare Churches. The testimonies of God’s faithfulness, even through financial valleys were truly inspiring.

When I left Moncton, I made a final stop in Toronto. Sixteen of us talked together about our PLBC campaign and we also had the spiritual privilege of eating lunch together around a big table. There’s something profoundly intimate about breaking bread as friends.

I was so happy that my good friend Shannon La Chance and her friend Sandrine were there, as well. They had left Montreal in the early morning hours to drive all the way to Toronto to be with us. Both Shannon and Sandrine have profound insights into the culture and spirituality of Francophone Canadians. Our mutual desire is to expand our Foursquare churches throughout the spiritually barren province of Quebec. But we do have to recognize the cultural uniqueness of our French speaking brothers and sisters!! God help us build strong bridges across the invisible, but significant border between us. Help us to see Canada as one nation with distinct flavors and colors and give us divine insight as to how we can be one in spirit.

My Ontario comrades have a strong passion to develop leaders, plant churches, see maturity develop in the believers who are already there, and nurture new believers. I was encouraged as we shared ideas how we, who are across the great divide of the Rockies can both receive benefit from and also give help to the growth of the Central Canadian Foursquare churches. My belief is that our Bible College will be a source of health, focused Christian education and leadership development for the many new churches which are now budding in the rich spiritual soil of Ontario and Quebec.

So that was my trip. It was a worthwhile four days as I touched down on 5 of our Canadian provinces from BC to New Brunswick. And even though it was a whirlwind week, I was blessed and renewed.


At Northside Fourquare Church we start training them young. This is my grandson, Jordan, and as you can see, he's read all of my books.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Reflecting (Part Three)

Many years ago (about 1983), God gave me a very clear prophetic word that there would be a wave of blessing which would flow across the nation of Canada. I saw a very dry, barren land in my vision, and then the clear, refreshing water of a giant river from BC to Newfoundland began to wash over the broad landscape.

Over the years, we have seen dribbles of blessing in various spots across Canada but I feel we’re drawing close to the fulfillment of the prophetic word that several people have seen, heard and confirmed. In no way am I saying that I or Northside Church are central to the flow of fresh water, but I do feel strongly that we will have a servant part in the coming wave.

It will be interesting to see the outcome of the forthcoming national election in Canada. Will our politicians be a door or a dam in the spiritual river that is beginning to trickle across our nation?

I see Ezekiel 47:1-12 as an age old but exceedingly accurate picture of what’s about to happen:

Then he brought me back to the door of the house; and behold, water was flowing from under the threshold of the house toward the east, for the house faced east. And the water was flowing down from under, from the right side of the house, from south of the altar.

He brought me out by way of the north gate and led me around on the outside to the outer gate by way of the gate that faces east. And behold, water was trickling from the south side.

When the man went out toward the east with a line in his hand, he measured a thousand cubits, and he led me through the water, water reaching the ankles.

Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the knees. Again he measured a thousand and led me through the water, water reaching the loins.

Again he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not ford, for the water had risen, enough water to swim in, a river that could not be forded.

He said to me, 'Son of man, have you seen this?' Then he brought me back to the bank of the river.

Now when I had returned, behold, on the bank of the river there were very many trees on the one side and on the other.

Then he said to me, ‘These waters go out toward the eastern region and go down into the Arabah; then they go toward the sea, being made to flow into the sea, and the waters of the sea become fresh.

It will come about that every living creature which swarms in every place where the river goes, will live. And there will be very many fish, for these waters go there and the others become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.

And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from Engedi to Eneglaim there will be a place for the spreading of nets Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great Sea, very many.

But its swamps and marshes will not become fresh; they will be left for salt.

By the river on its bank, on one side and on the other, will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither and their fruit will not fail They will bear every month because their water flows from the sanctuary, and their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.

The overflow, fruitfulness, and healing is coming. We have to be very careful that we don’t become a swamp (v. 12). Notice that the same water flows into the swamp as through the river. The only difference is that the swamp had no outflow.

My friendship with pastors in Quebec has helped me to understand Canada’s responsibilities to reach the Quebecois with the Gospel. My perception is that the church, as a whole, has failed badly in the province where Christianity first took a foot hold under Jacque Cartier and Samuel de Champlain over 300 years ago. We not only owe the Francophones a sincere apology, but also owe them a spiritual debt. My heart is expanding to include Quebec as a part of our church vision.

As you know, I spent a great deal of time travelling last year, in particular, to our conference in Atlantic Canada. I’ve spoken with pastors, lay people, and media personnel and I’ve seen God’s hand drawing us together in unity. A feeling of excitement fills my being. I am eager to see the vision fulfilled.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Reflecting (Part Two)

A few years ago, our church was able to purchase a 10 acre site for our proposed new church building in Port Coquitlam (Poco). Land is getting scarce in the metropolitan Vancouver area and the neighbourhood of our Poco church had been one of the last areas where good parcels of property were still available. Today, because of rising land values, our 10 acres have at least doubled in value since we purchased them.

Prior to purchasing the property, I felt like we turned a corner in the expansion of our church vision. We moved from a “let’s grow strong and care for ourselves” attitude; to a vision that says, “God has placed us in these two locations (Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam) for a purpose.” So, we began to care for both neighbourhoods – specifically the poor and addicted of Poco (Pastor Carol Smith and others were the driving force of our vision to assist lower income families and those in recovery) and the ethnic community of Coquitlam (Doris Wong and Sam and Lily Ong have been effective leaders in this multicultural outreach). The Coquitlam campus, which sits predominantly on a hill (Westwood Plateau), consists of a 75% ethnic population, mostly Asian.

After beginning the growing process of reaching out to our community, we lifted our eyes to the world around us. In 1993, we began to see missionary outreach as one of our priorities. Evangelist Don Schellenberg, Karsten and Sulma Hoeg, and Randy Stark were all catalysts for us to seriously consider how we, as a church, could impact our world. In addition to International Foursqure Missions and Canadian Foursquare Missions, we began to send teams to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, India, Philippines, Thailand and many other nations. Soon small groups in the church began to knit afghans, put together Christmas boxes, give to world churches and Bible schools and sponsor orphans.

This last season of 10 years has been like a health tonic for the heart of our church. The more we’ve given of our money and ourselves, the stronger, more mature and prosperous we have become.

We press on, following the example of William Colgate who began his business with only a recipe for soap and a determination to always give God 10% of his profits – and continue on until he was giving 90% and using only 10% for himself.

In 2005, I’ve felt God’s hand pressing us to continue blessing our community and the world, but also seriously begin to consider the difference we can make in our nation of Canada.

It was significant to me that we held our first Canadian Foursquare Pastor’s Conference in the Atlantic provinces in 2005. The convention in Dartmouth in October was pivotal.

For me, to travel to Lethbridge and do my first television interview on Lifeline with Dick and Joan Dewert was a major step outside of my comfort zone. Following that show, I travelled to Winnipeg three times (as recently as last week, January 11) to tape 9 different interviews. I’ve talked about Life Journey, Life Purpose, The Red Thread and The Secret of Happiness with Willard Theissen of It’s a New Day.

The television interviews have not only stretched me far beyond where I am comfortable (God always does this very well to ensure that we don’t settle into complacency), but He’s also widened my circle of influence by about 1,000 km. I’ve been consistently surprised by the number of calls, e-mails and letters I have received from people from Vancouver Island to Halifax.

At the same time, Gary Reamer of Reimer Advertising has been encouraging me to begin a radio broad across our nation. Gary and I talked at Starbucks while I was in Winnipeg last week. I told him that I would begin to Podcast my new program, Life Pathways, in February from my website ( Thanks to Jessica Cornell, my co-host and David Dombrowski my engineer for their expertise and willingness to work alongside this radio novice. I hope you’ll drop by for a listen next month.

I still have more to share, so I guess there will be a Part Three. Hope you’re still with me.


Monday, January 16, 2006

Reflecting (Part One)

I suppose it’s the time of year – or the long flight I had from Winnipeg to Moncton last week – but I’ve been reflecting on the events of the last twelve months. For me, and for Northside Church, 2005 was a banner year. We’ve had other significant seasons along our 27 year journey, but this past one will continue to stand out in my memory. Over the next few posts, I’ll share some of the things that affected us.

Last year I completed the three books and Bible study in The Red Thread series; The Secret of Happiness; and the Beta manual (a follow-up course after Alpha). Little did I know what a blessing, in particular, one of these books would be.

I don’t believe even I truly understood, at the time I was writing The Secret to Happiness while on vacation in Mexico last April, what an influence the principles of this text would have on my life and to our church.

After giving the book to everyone in our church, I’ve watched in awe how God has responded. We’ve given significantly more, we’ve continued to prosper, and we’ve grown spiritually and numerically as a result of simply taking God at His Word. Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38) and it’s true!

I should not have been surprised.

As I told the viewers on It’s a New Day, happiness can be defined as being full and overflowing. That’s what Jesus was talking about: “our cups will be running over” (He was referring to giving out as fast as we are receiving.)

King David said the same thing while being in a very precarious and dangerous place in the valley of the shadow of death. He wrote, “my cup is full and running over.”

I love the blessing that old Jacob gave to his son Joseph in Genesis 49:22 when he said, “You will be a fruitful bough.” That’s a full cup; fulfillment; fruitfulness; success – a wonderful provision itself. Nevertheless, it’s not the ultimate purpose of an apple tree to produce apples, but rather it’s to feed and nourish many people.

Jacob also prophesied that Joseph would be “nurtured by a spring of water.” Without his being connected to his source of refreshment and nurture, he could never be fruitful. It’s our relationship to Jesus, the water of life, that provides fulfillment and success.

It was the third promise that really gave Joseph the happiness (blessing) that God wanted him to have – “his branches would run over the wall!” That was the overflow – running over. Not only would he give of his success with these within his circle of influence, but the blessing of his overflow would run over the wall. He had blessed more people than he would ever know.

And that’s just some of what’s happening with us at Northside. The overflow increases, the fruitfulness continues only as we stay nurtured in an intimate relationship with Jesus. I pray you are experiencing the same blessing.

Stay tuned for Part Two.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Dying Well

A few weeks ago, on a Saturday evening just as Susan and I were shutting down for the night, I received a call from the local hospital. The receptionist informed me that one of the members of our church had just died, and that his wife was asking for me.

I rushed over to the emergency ward to see her and we talked for a while, before going in together to see her forty-eight year old deceased husband. Bill had been ill for a long time, but the past two and a half years had been especially difficult for the whole family. Bill had not been able to work during that time and although he’d formerly been a hulk of a construction worker, he had diminished to just over a hundred pounds.

As always, his death was difficult. I held hiw wife Susan firmly as she cried and asked the question, “Now what do I do?” We talked that evening and again on Sunday afternoon.

On Friday, December 23rd, we laid Bill’s body to rest and celebrated his good life, but the grief goes on.

I’ve faced the questions, “Now what do I do?” and “How will I ever get past this tragedy?” so many times that I’ve written two books to answer them.

Good Mourning describes the two-year process that a loved one goes through after a death takes place. I describe the stages of grief which one must go through to reach the sunrise after nighttime.

The second book is called Dying Well. Hopefully it will be out by the end of January 2006. Here’s a peek at the introduction.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. II Timothy 4:6&7

“It was a great game.” Bing Crosby, who collapsed after sinking a final putt on a golf course in Spain (1977)

“O my God! It is over. I have come to the end of it—the end, the end. To have only one life, and to have done with it! To have lived, and loved, and triumphed, and now to know it is over! One may defy everything else, but this.” Queen Elizabeth I

“My God, what’s happened?” Princess Diana Spencer in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel, as recorded in the official police files in Paris.

“Now God be with you, my dear children. I have breakfasted with you, and shall sup with my Lord Jesus Christ.” Robert Bruce, King of Scotland (1274 – 1329)

Humans are unique among all of God’s created beings. We are seemingly the only ones who understand the concept of death and after-life. We therefore are the only creatures who have been given the privilege of preparing ourselves for that coming day.

The great Apostle Paul was about sixty-five years of age when he wrote his last letter. It was addressed to his young protégé Timothy. About a month before he was martyred, Paul wrote these words. “The time of my departure is come. I have fought the good fight… I have finished the course.”

Three pictures defined the Apostle’s view of life. The first one was set in a nautical venue, “the time of my departure has come”. The Greek work that he chose to use for his leaving earth pictured a sailor in his ship setting out on a long voyage. It infers pulling up anchor, untying the ropes from the dock, setting his sails and catching a breeze into the open waters. Can you see the ship sailing out of sight to a far off destination?

A friend of mine used the same metaphor for her departure just a couple of months ago. Judy was an avid kayaker, so three weeks before she died of ovarian cancer, she asked her husband and daughter to help her down to the water near their home. Hardly able to walk, her family almost had to carry her to the waiting boat. After climbing in, gathering up her strength and donning her trademark smile, Judy told her husband Dave to turn on the video camera. Then she spoke of her undying love for her family and friends, and her deep faith in God. She quoted a couple of scriptures that had been a source of strength to her, pulled up anchor, waved good-bye and paddled out into the distance. The family played the video at her memorial service. I don’t need to tell you of the response from her gathered friends.

I fought the good fight

The second metaphor that the Apostle Paul used was, “I’ve fought the good fight”. A few years ago a dear friend died in her late eighties. Marie had been a sweet friend, an awesome wife, and a loving mother for most of her years. She’d given birth to ten children; lost a couple in infancy; fought through sickness, poverty and war (Maria had moved to Canada from Italy after World War II) and was spending her sunset years resting in a well deserved care home.

On the night that she died, Marie was sitting in her favourite chair reading her Bible. Around 9:30, a nurse came in and said, “Marie, it’s time to get your beauty rest.”

Her response, “No sweetie, I think I’ll just sit here and read for a while. I’m going home tonight you know.”

Of course the nurse had heard that wish from many of her patrons. They too had thought that they were going back home to being a mother and wife. But for Marie, she understood something beyond our human world. When she said, “I’m going home tonight,” she meant, “I’ve fought the fight of life well. It’s over and I’ve won. Now it’s time to receive my final trophy.” And that she did. Marie sat in her rocking chair and continued reading from her beloved Bible, until Jesus came and carried her off to her new home.

I’ve finished the course

Paul’s third metaphor was, “I’ve finished the course”. Having spent several months in Corinth, likely having watched the Ismus Games, he was alluding to the relay races. The Apostle had made reference before to stripping away any outer weights that may slow us down, keeping our eyes on the finish line, running with passion and making sure we place the baton securely into the next runner’s hands. But there he was at the end of his race, having completed the prescribed distance and reaching out to the finish line. He could almost feel the winner’s olive wreath on his head.

Blossom and I have written this book with the intent of helping our readers not only finish well, but also to die well. We want to (Blossom has already succeeded) do what we’re advocating – to transition from life on earth to life in heaven successfully.

Our prayer is that you will do likewise; that while you are healthy, maybe even young, you will begin the important process of preparing to die well.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Family

Well, here we are!

I uploaded a couple pictures to one of my previous posts so scroll back a little to see Max at the piano and the ladybugs.

Happy New Year!


Prophetic Word Question

Dear Anonymous,

You wrote a comment regarding prophetic words to me before Christmas. I’m sorry that I haven’t responded sooner, but here are my thoughts regarding your questions.

Of course, I don’t know you or the pastor who gave you a prophetic word about your future, so it’s difficult for me to answer your questions with a “yes, this is good” or a “no, it’s way off base”, but consider these few comments. I hope they are of help to you.

1. Prophecy in the New Testament differs from the prophets of the Old Testament up to John the Baptist, in that they must be judged for accuracy. I Corinthians 14:29 “Let two or three prophets speak and let the others pass judgment” and verse 32 reads, “the spirits of the prophet are subject to the prophet.”

Because a person who prophecies is in control of what he says or does not say, he must be judged by other spiritually mature believers as to what he or she actually speaks. Again I don’t know the pastor or you, so I am not qualified to make that judgment.

2. If the prophesy was accurate and your friends did not believe it, that does not negate the power or truth of the prophecy. God’s plans do not depend on people around who believe in you. Consider Joseph’s brothers who didn’t believe him, and Jeremiah’s listeners who thought he was crazy.

3. Prophecies are for the purpose of encouraging us. They are observations from God who leads us from the future. They are not promises or commands. We are not obligated to work them out—only to walk in obedience down the path he unfolds before us each day. As we obey, God will work out his plans in our lives.

4. Here are some questions for you to ponder:

  • Did you feel it was God’s words that were being spoken to you? Not just the emotion of the moment, but an inner confidence that this was God’s will for you?
  • How old are you? I’ve seen people do great things for God in their 60’s or 80’s. If you still feel the same, it’s not too late. As long as you are breathing there’s still time for God to use you.
  • Are you on the right path? Are you tuned into God’s voice? Is there anything you need to repent of? Start where you are today—don’t worry about where you could’ve been.
  • Can you take a step toward fulfilling your part of the prophecy? A Bible School course? A Seminar? Start serving in your local church?

Finally, I’d recommend that you talk with your pastor about this issue.

Blessings to you.


Family Celebrations

December 21st was Susan’s birthday. Her complaint for birthdays as a child was that her relatives tended to buy her a gift for Christmas (in Christmas wrap) that would have to do for her birthday too. So we try to make her special day special.

We had plans to take our girls and their families up Grouse Mountain, or at least for a train ride at Standley Park, but all of our “best laid plans” got rained out. So we all went to Montana’s for ribs and whatever else we wanted. I’ve got to admire the servers there—they entertained all of us from ninety (Grandma) to two years old. We had a great ime, Moose horns and a wild rendition of Happy Birthday and all.

After dinner, we came back to our home for the bit birthday gift opening. I bought Susan an electric baby grand piano for her surprise—I love the way she responds to any good thing we do for her. She screams (happy screams) and cries and jumps up and down. Susan has never lost her youthful enthusiasm, joy and thankfulness. Here’s a picture of Max playing the new piano. It has a built in sound track and the kids love to pretend they’re playing a brilliant concerto.

We were able to put her gift to good use with another family celebration on Boxing Day when my extended Buzza family continued the tradition of spending this day together. This year we had only forty of the seventy or so who could come, but we had a great time of games, Chinese food and singing. Several of the family (not me) are musicians and so out came many other instruments and voices for an impromptu Christmas carol sing-a-long. It really was a delight to sit back and listen to my siblings, nieces and nephews sing, Away in a Manger, Joy to the World and even Jingle Bells.

It's been a busy week, but I've enjoyed our many family celebrations - both with our relatives and our church family.