Monday, March 27, 2006

Air Date - April 3, 2006

A few days ago I spoke with Willard Theissen about my up and coming interview on It’s A New Day. He and I only did one show on the subject of The Secret of Happiness. It’ll be aired on April 3, 2006.

Although I wrote this book on my vacation in Mexico, in about a week, it’s been the most popular book so far. I’m looking into republishing it in hard-cover as a gift book.

The concept, it is more blessed to give than to receive, is simple but it runs contrary to what we’ve been taught in life. We’ve learned that if we have $10 and give away $2, then we have $8. If we have one hundred and sixty-eight hours in the week and we spend one day helping someone in need, then we’ve lost eight of our precious hours.

I love what Thomas Stanley wrote in his book Millionaire Women Next Door. He says there are multiple benefits that donors receive from being generous. He concludes that "people who annually give away at least ten percent of their income to a noble cause are likely to:

  1. gain more respect;

  2. have more joy and happiness in their lives; and

  3. encounter increases in their wealth and net worth."
Here’s what Stanley wrote in response to the question: Is contributing to charitable or noble causes a complement or a substitute in regard to the accumulation of wealth?

The answer seems logical enough. Consider these case examples: Tina Patron (TP) is a generous person, and she donates at least ten percent of her income each year. Olga Price (OP) donates far less, at most one percent. All else—income, age, and several other wealth correlates—being equal, Olga should have a higher level of net worth, so logic suggests that giving to noble causes is a substitute, not a complement, to accumulating wealth.

Well, so much for college-classroom and economic-textbook logic. All things are not equal in such situations. My data from two groups of high-income-producing women suggest that giving and wealth are indeed complements, not substitutes. All those surveyed had annual realized earned incomes of $100,000 or more, and all were owners and mangers of their own businesses. Each respondent was randomly selected from my national-survey database, and two groups, each containing survey data from one hundred women, provided the empirical base for this analysis. As detailed later, on the average both groups were similar in terms of age and income.

The first group of one hundred women was labeled “ten percenters” (TPs, Tina Patron types). They gave at least ten percent of their annual realized income to charitable and noble causes each year. The second group of one hundred women was labeled “one percenters” (OPs, or Olga Price types); they gave one percent or less. Thus, on average, TPs contributed $41, 543, while their counterpart OPs contributed just $2,355.

You may logically conclude the OPs would have considerably more wealth accumulated. They are not “burdened” with doling out $41,543 annually. Again, so much for logic. In spite of contributing ten percent or more of their annual realized income each year, the TPs have a higher level of net worth than do the OPs: $2.03 million versus $1.96 million.

Imagine that—God was right! I hope you'll watch my interview and let me know what you think.


Friday, March 24, 2006

The Lord is my Shepherd

It’s always directly in front of me. Every day as I sit at my desk to write or study, the ceramic ram, which I bought as a souvenir from the Cotswolds in England last September, reminds me that I too am a sheep.

It has been one of the most life-changing lessons I’ve ever learned. The Lord is my Shepherd. I could as easily say, the Lord is my Pastor. He nourishes, disciplines, loves and leads me. I can talk with others about my life and concerns and hear their counsel, but ultimately He is my Pastor.

Equally important to my understanding that God is my shepherd and that He truly will direct my paths, is the truth that God is everybody’s shepherd. He is really their Senior Pastor.

This princple is the theme of my book, Life Journey – that God has not only prepared a unique pathway for my life, but that He wants to lead me down that path throughout my life. I think of this concept every week — almost every time I sit down to counsel people.

Just a few days ago, I spent time with a young man whose parents are very concerned about his life choices. I told him and his parents both that God is this man’s pastor. He will discipline, correct, encourage and lead him. I don’t carry ultimate responsibility for his choices and neither do his parents. They did the best they could with what they knew. As all of us do, they as parents, made some unwise decisions as well as many right decisions. Now it’s between their grown son and his Shepherd.

When each of my grandchildren were little, I'd help them walk by holding them on top of my shoes — that’s how I visualize my role. I see myself not as pastor, but as the Pastor’s little helper. He’s the only one able to guide His sheep because only He has been down the road before us. As parents, pastors, employers, etc., we will only be successful leaders if we are walking on God’s shoes.

Here I am again, looking at my six inch fragile sheep. I see myself in his tiny black eyes—but I feel secure because my Shepherd loves me and will always watch out for what’s best for me! He'll do the same for you, too.


A funny from the web:

A Sunday School teacher decided to have her young class memorize one of the most quoted passages in the Bible: Psalm 23.

She gave the youngsters a month to learn the verse. Little James was excited about the task but he just couldn't remember the verses. After much practice, he could barely get past the first line.

On the day that the kids were scheduled to recite the Psalm in front of the congregation, James was so nervous. When it was his turn, he stepped up to the microphone and said proudly, "The Lord is my Shepherd, and that's all I need to know."

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Annual Check-Up

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the doctor for a complete check-up. It was my birthday and as I near a new decade, I’ve got to keep on top of my health. The doctor checked me over and I seem to be okay. Nothing serious anyway.

A family weakness of asthma has chased me over the last ten years and because my mom died of lung cancer at a young age, I watch it pretty closely. I have a slight thyroid problem, which is balanced with medication, and rising cholesterol which will help motivate me to eat well (remember all those previous blogs about food?!) and exercise. Of course, I got the usual admonition to exercise more and make sure I get my sleep, but other than that I’m a specimen of health.

I like to keep tabs on our church and do routine review there as well. Currently, we are working through the Spiritual 12 Steps as a check-up on our souls. Since our souls live forever and our bodies only last less than a century, it figures that the spiritual check-up is the more vital.

Our Creator actually commands us to “examine our hearts” to see if there is any area that doesn’t line up with His right way of thinking. It’s kind of like putting a level on a house to see if it is sitting straight, or checking our blood to see if there are any uninvited invaders.

We’re now on the fourth step – doing a personal inventory of our souls, getting ready for step five of confession. I've posted the inventory questions (click here to obtain) we are using which will help you when listening to the audio from my web page. The inventory doesn't cover all of our potential dysfunctions, but there are enough to help us see our need for God’s help. In future audio programs, you will be able to listen to some thoughts from God’s Word on the value of self-examination.

Physically, I know I have some disciplined work to do, but even more concerning is the spiritual weaknesses that I’m seeing. We never seem to get to the place, in this life anyway, that we can say, “It’s finished. I’m now perfect.”

So off I go to do some physical as well as spiritual exercise.


Good News from Leyte

A few days ago, I received a text message from Pastors Val (and Sally) Chavez, President of the sixteen hundred Foursquare churches in the Philippines. When they wrote, they were just leaving from a trip to southern Leyte where the mudslide blanketed one entire village.

With the money we sent, their teams were able to work with YWAM teams to bring aide to four hundred and twenty-five families. They are also working at planting a new church near the disaster area. If you’d like to send money to help, you may do so via our church. Please mark your cheque “Leyte Fund”.

Thanks a million!


Monday, March 20, 2006

Animals in Heaven?

Last week in our Beta Class (which is an eleven week course that I’ve written to follow-up on Alpha graduates) we got talking about animals in heaven. Some were sure that their kitties or puppies would be there to greet them when they arrived.

I’m not sure—at least I wasn’t until one of our students sent me this picture of a Christian dog.


Saturday, March 18, 2006

I'm Finally Edging . . .

. . . into the 21st century. Having failed (actually I quit) typing in grade 11, I’ve always been a little hesitant to use electronic equipment. I've avoided VCR’s, CD recording systems, computers and even telephones. Plus, I’ve always written everything out on paper using just a pen — every article, sermon, book, revision/edit and blog. To me a good pen works as an extension of my hand and my mind.

But I got myself a BlackBerry™ this week. I’d already moved into text messaging with my cell phone, so I was on the way. Now I can be connected to my calendar that my secretaries keep and have quicker access to the many e-mails that I receive.

Still, I’m not sure of the total positives that electronics have added to our day. When I think of Jesus pulling away with (or without) his disciples for a time out with God, he didn’t have a cell phone, watch, radio, lap top or fax machine. How did he survive? How’d he stay in touch? Maybe that was the idea—he didn’t want to.

In my early days of ministry we had one line on the telephone, regular mail and a Selectric typewriter. Now we’ve added a dozen lines of communication to our office, not to mention computers, scanners, and coloured photocopiers. But I wonder if we communicate better.

Oh well, I don’t have much time to think about those deep questions of life—I’ve got myself a BlackBerry™ to figure out. This well keep me occupied for at least a year. All tips and tricks are eagerly welcomed.


Friday, March 17, 2006

North Korea Allows Foursquare Prayer Teams

When I received this email yesterday, I immediately felt excited. After having been to China, recently, I can assure you this announcement is truly an "act of God" and I can hardly wait to see the great things He will do. I pray you will consider what part, if any, God will have you do in this amazing opportunity:

Foursquare News Service #240
March 15, 2006

The normally closed and restrictive North Korean government has agreed to allow up to 300 people at one time to enter the country and pray over their nation and in their cities.

Rev. Dayoung Kimn, a Korean/American Foursquare leader and Life Pacific College graduate, is organizing prayer teams, a large conference, an English camp for students and various sports outreaches.

Rev. Kimn has done a great deal of work in China and has been sending supply containers into North Korea for the past two years. His petitions to the government were granted the first week of March, allowing ministry teams to enter the county for the 10 weeks between August 10th and October 10th.

Rev. Kimn is appealing to local Foursquare churches and individuals to pray for these outreaches and consider joining him in going to North Korea during this historic opportunity to reach a nation that has traditionally been closed to the gospel.

If you would like more information about how you or your church can be involved in a World Impact Team to North Korea please call Foursquare Missions at (888) 635-4234 ext. 4320 or e-mail us.

* * * * * * *

If you are interested, please don't hesitate to contact Foursquare Missions. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have about travelling, etc., as well. Be sure to visit my blog archieves for posts about my annual trip to the Philippines to see what a blessing you can be.


Monday, March 13, 2006

Meet Jessica

I know I've already talked about the audio program in a previous blog, but I just wanted to take this a step further and let you know what is happening.

Jessica Cornell, along with sound engineer, David Dombrowski, has been working alongside me to produce the Life Pathways Audio Program. Jess has been part of our church for several years and serves in a wide variety of ministries, from hairdresser and make-up artist for the actors in our dramas, to worship leader. She is now serving as the executive producer of Life Pathways Audio Programs.

I'm thrilled with how this new area of ministry is progressing. If you have not dropped by my web page to hear one of the messages, please do so. I'd like to suggest that you listen to these talk programs as if you were sitting with me in my office. I value your questions and feedback. The way that you are hearing what we are teaching and the personal responses you write in the space provided will be invaluable to us as we plan future topics of discussion. We’d be happy to answer specific and/or personal questions (anonymously, of course) on the audio program.

To tune in to Life Pathways audio, visit my web page at then click on the audio link on the left hand side of the page. You may need to use Real Player and not Windows media Play. Click here for a free download of Real Player. The company will try to sell the SuperPass Version but it is not needed to listen to our audio. Simply download the free version.

Thanks for listening.


Sunday, March 12, 2006


I received a call from a pastor friend from the other side of Canada regarding a couple who had previously divorced, now wanting to be married (not to each other, again). The issue was raising a bit of hot debate in his church, so he wanted an outside, unbiased opinion.

I’m not sure that any of us are unbiased but here are a couple of things I talked with him about.
  • I, like God, hate divorce. It leaves a host of scars in its wake. Unlike some Hollywood stars who glibly describe their divorces as friendly and calm, divorce hurts us badly. God doesn’t hate divorce (Malachi 2:16) because He wants us to be miserable, He hates divorce because He loves us so much and doesn’t want us and our kids to go through the pain that it causes.

  • Likewise, as Jesus said to the Pharisees (in Matthew 19:3-12) the question is not, “How can I get a divorce?” rather it is, “What is marriage?” the heart of marriage is a lifelong mutual vow of self-sacrificing love.

  • But the reality is, divorce happens. Just as we don’t intend on having accidents on the highway, they happen—even to good drivers. Some are bruised, some are wounded or maimed, and some die in accidents. Same with divorce—even some who are innocent suffer from the reality of divorce.

  • Matthew 19:9 says, “Whoever gets a divorce, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” It is a sticky issue. Of course it has to be understood in light of the rest of the Bible. Here are four considerations:

    1. Those who’ve suffered divorce because of immorality are not bound by this statement. They are the exception.

    2. The word “and” in Greek is kai. It can be interpreted accurately as “in order to.” The rendering would then be, “If you divorce your wife in order to marry another (read: younger, slimmer) woman, you are committing adultery.”

    3. Keep in mind that God recognizes divorce as a nullification of the marriage contract. Read I Corinthians 7:27-28,“Are you released (divorced) from a wife? Don’t seek a wife, but if you marry,you have not sinned…”

    4. Consider God’s divorce. Isaiah 50 tells us that God Himself divorced His wife Israel, because of her persistent idolatry. Later on, thank God, He married the Church (Revelation 19:7-9).
Of course, these are not to be taken as reasons for divorce or justifications for failure in marriage. But divorce does happen—Jesus summarized it by stating the one root cause: hardness of heart. After a divorce, I recommend a long period of personal healing and restoration for all who’ve been affected, before any thought is given to remarriage.

I hope my comments help my friend offer love and support to the couple in his church. If you have any comments or questions about divorce, feel free to send me an email.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Back to School

This week I had the privilege of sitting with an enthusiastic grade two class at Nestor Elementary School to discuss the secret to happiness.

One of the young ladies in our church, Ashley Fabbian, was reading my book along with her mom Irene, when she got the idea of presenting it to her teacher and class. Her teacher was most gracious and allowed Ashley to retell a story from the book.

Then Ashley confidently asked her teacher if her pastor and author of the book, The Secret to Happiness, could be a guest to their class. She said yes and so did I.

So there I sat, in a wooden rocking chair asking the bubbly class, “What is happiness?” They gave many answers.

“Getting candy.”

“Going to Disneyland.”

“Christmas morning.”

So I knew I had some work to do in getting them to understand that happiness flows from generosity. I used a little story (which I plan on publishing) about a cow who wanted to keep her milk for herself and a sheep who didn’t want to lose her precious wool. The kids grabbed hold of the idea!

They were wonderful. They talked about giving their too small clothes to others, sharing their toys and helping the poor children with special projects to raise money.

I think children are the most ready listeners—what a perfect time to teach Godly values (like generosity) and life principles. Thank God for the thousands of primary teachers who are helping us parents shape a generation of tomorrow’s leaders.

And thank you, Ahsley and Nestor Elementary School, for allowing me to visit and share the things I care most about.


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Still Celebrating!

On February 28, 1969, my beautiful young bride and I stood on the platform of the Kingsway Foursquare Church and pledged our love and honor to each other. Our dear friend, Pastor John Watson officiated. Where has the time gone?

We’d planned to drive to California for our honeymoon, but they were experiencing very severe flooding that year. We went to Victoria for a couple of nights and then went to Oregon to stay with John and Bonnie Watson for the rest of the time.

Upon our return, we moved into our marital home which was a very old basement suite on Pender Street in Vancouver, under the home of our pastor’s Wes and Gladys Wray. I remodeled the suite and made some of the furniture. The rest we bought from the small estate of an old man who’d just died, paying just $50 for a whole bunch of stuff. Susan made the curtains; we set out our wedding presents and we were as happy as clams.

Susan was working at Safeway and I was still working as a truck driver at my dad’s lumber yard, while finishing my Bible College education. Life was good.

These last 37 years with Susan have been better than I could have imagined. I wouldn’t trade a minute of them for a million dollars. I think we worked out most of the kinks in the first couple of years so that the ones following have been a breeze. Even the financial, health, and career valleys we’ve gone through have turned out to be invaluable growing times. One of the many good things that comes from longevity is a healthy perspective. We’ve learned that springtime inevitable follows winter!

Thank-you Lord for marriage and thank you especially for my darling Susan.”

A few days prior to our anniversary, my siblings and our spouses celebrated the 96th birthday of our dear Auntie Mae. We don’t get together for the birthdays of other Aunts and Uncles, but Auntie Mae has been like a second mom to us for most of our lives.

She was single for most of her life, (she’d had a few proposals of marriage, but had declined) so Auntie Mae was often asked to stay at our home and care for us 6 kids when mom and dad would take their much deserved “honeymoons in Hawaii.”

We have scores of happy memories with my dad’s older sister throughout our growing up years, but my favorite one comes from later in her life. Auntie Mae was married when she was 52 to Derek, a farmer, rancher, hunting guide from Little Fort, B.C. (1/2 hour north of Barrier).

When I was 16, she asked me to come up and live with them for the summer holidays. If I’d paint their old ranch house (it took four coats and forty gallons –if I remember), then she would pay me $100.00. That was a fortune to me and so I jumped at the opportunity. It was in those months, and the next year also that I learned to drive, castrate bulls, operate all kinds of farm equipment, and of course, paint. I’ll never forget the day I was up on a 24 foot ladder removing a wooden vent and a couple of shrieking bats fluttered out. I almost died that day.

Another time, Carlene (their adopted baby) had caught her head between the bars in her wooden crib. She was losing her battle to get breath and Auntie Mae was frantic. She’s thanked me over and over again for saving my baby cousin’s life. I love my Auntie, and I owe her a great debt for all that she has added to my life experiences.

At her party, my brother Dave asked her what her birthday wish was for her 97th year and with her usual wit, she answered “My wish is that I die before my next birthday.” I think she’s had enough. She’s loved her life on earth, but right now she’d rather be in heaven with her beloved husband, Derek, than here on earth.

We will miss her when God calls her home, but our wonderful memories will see us through our grief.

I must say, though, I am glad February is over. I may actually be tired of all the food I enjoyed at each celebratory event we attended.


P.S. Here is the write up of our special day, if you're interested:

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Life Pathways Audio Program

I’m not exactly sure how I arrived here, but I believe that it’s the right place to be:

Last year I received a call from a man, in Winnipeg, who provides radio time across Canada. Somehow my name had been given to him, when he was on a trip to Los Angeles at a National Broadcaster’s Conference.

He asked me if I’d ever considered doing a Christian radio program. I said, “Me?” But in our subsequent chats, he peaked my interest. Those conversations and others from China, Philippines and across Canada have led me to this place today, where I and Jessica Cornell are ready to begin audio-streaming via the internet. Our first programs have been prepared from recent sermons on the 12 Steps program we use, called Higher Ground, and from conversations between us.

Our plan is to test the web for about a year before branching out into radio. Check out our first few programs by clicking on “Audio Programs” on my webpage. We’d love to get feedback either of comments or questions.

We’ll keep preparing programs as long as we see our listening audience expanding.

Thanks for being a part of this new challenge!


Friday, March 03, 2006

Mudslide on the Island of Leyte

I was on the Island of Leyte at Ormoc several moths ago, speaking at a conference of about 140 Foursquare Pastors and leaders. I made many new friends there.

So when I heard about the mudslides that took more than 1,500 lives I was deeply concerned. Since then I’ve had other conversations with neighboring pastors both in our community, and in the Philippines about the pressing need to help the families of the victims. We wanted to assist them physically, as well as spiritually.

On Sunday, our church gave generously enabling us to send a cheque to the Foursquare Gospel Churches of Leyte to oversee the distribution of help. We have also been asked to be a clearing house for those in the greater Vancouver area who to give aid to the victims of the slide.

You can send cheques, marked LEYTE, to Northside Church at:

1477 Lougheed Highway
Port Coquitlam, British Columbia
V3B 7M6

Phone: 604-942-7711

You will be receipted for your gift and 100% of the money will go directly to those in need in Leyte.

Thank you for your love.