Thursday, August 30, 2007

Wednesday August 18 - August 28

August 18 – Kristy and Scott’s wedding
Today was one of those cloudy BC days that are on the verge of rain. The only problem with that was that I had a wedding outdoors in the gardens of Rippington Farm. On the way to the ceremony, I hit a hailstorm serenaded by thunder—my faith was sinking.

But by the time the gorgeous bride walked out of the preparation house, the sun broke through the clouds. Scott and Kristy are a well matched, easy-to-love couple. Their wedding went without a hitch and the gardens were magnificent.

The interesting thing for me was that I had known Scott’s mom, Elaine (among others at the ceremony) all the way through High School. She was one of those very attractive girls I was too shy to talk to, so it was a happy reunion after 42 years. She’s still lovely!

August 20 – First National Board meeting
Today Rebecca and I facilitated our first National Board Meeting. Among the other items on the agenda, the Board selected their candidates for this next term of office which begins after Conference. (In our Foursquare Church, the National Board holds the highest office. They are the men and women who selected me as President—all business and finance is overseen by the Board.)

Our present members are representative of the various Units across Canada. They are: Warren Lauwers (Coquitlam), Dan Howton (Langley), Pastor Val Batulan (Surrey), Shawn Schmidt (Saskatchewan), Pastor Reid Stairs (Halifax) and Pastor Greg Kurjata (Edmonton).

The newly selected members, when they are ratified at our October Conference, are Pastor Jenn Wright (Powell River), Klaus Goetz (Coquitlam) and Pastor Stephen Akinwekomi (Toronto). Rebecca and I will serve perpetually as long as we are in office.

I’m thankful to God for the men and women who have served (Abe Banman, Pastor Craig Millar, Gladys Foster and of course Pastor Tim Peterson) over the past several years. This new term is going to be a very significant season in the Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada. We have an awesome team!

August 22 – Kid’s Camp
Susan, Victoria (4) and I drove to Chilliwack today to visit our Foursquare kiddies at Children’s Camp. All 200 of them!

What an awesome group of kids (grades 3-7) we have. They are having a whale of a time. Games, crafts (I loved the Foursquare artwork) and swimming!

The group was super-well organized by Carolyn Crowell who oversaw all the planning. Dairn Peters is doing a captivating job as Camp speaker. It could not be a better, more memorable week for kids and leaders alike.

Our son-in-law Tom, who is counseling in our three grandson’s (Alex, Jacob and Max) cabin did mention on the sly he was ready to go home—only three more days Tom!

Congratulations on the decorating of the cabins! Every year the campers and counselors both work hard to receive recognition as having the best, cleanest and most attractive cabin. I think Vijay and his boys will win hands down.

August 25 – Kristie and TJ’s wedding
We were back to the picturesque gardens of Rippington Farms today. After a sunny Camp week the rains were waiting to fall—thankfully the spray held back until the bride and her attendants walked the long trail to the covered area.

Kristie is the daughter of our long-time friends Paul and Ruth Oorebeek. I’ve watched her mature into a beautiful woman since she was a teenager. It’s always very emotional for me as I watch the bride come down the aisle to her hew husband. It brings back nostalgic memories of walking our daughters Kelly and Kristy down the aisle.

The wedding was perfect! When I met TJ for premarital counseling several months ago, I was so delighted. He, his brother Chad and his mom and dad, Elaine and Bill King were part of our church in 1979. The King family arrived at church on our second Sunday. I remember the day well, June 2, 1979, because we had about fifteen guests that day, who all stayed with us for a few years. Our numbers swelled from 22 to 37. TJ was only three, so he was part of Kelly’s (she was eight) class of preschoolers. It was so good to see how TJ had grown and matured. He now manages his Dad’s Big-O Tire shop in Maple Ridge.

There were six couples at that wedding whom I had married over the past several years .It was good to catch up on their marriage progress, and even hold a couple of their babies. It’s a wonderful gig being a pastor!

August 26 – The Church in Ruskin
Today Susan and I were invited to speak at our Foursquare Church in Maple Ridge. What an honour for us. Pastor Les and Linda Warriner have been friends for at least thirty years, so it was a privilege to stand beside them at the dedication of their newly acquired church building. (Doug and Rebecca Friesen, who gave birth to the Maple Ridge Church about twenty-three years ago, were with us too.)

It’s really quite an amazing story—in April Les and some guys were standing outside of St. Andrews Church where they rent for their services. It was a clear, sunny spring day.

A man drove up beside them, recognized Les as the pastor and introduced himself. “Hi, my name is Jim Poelzer. I’m the pastor of a small church in Ruskin. I’m retiring in a couple of months and I’d like to give you our church building.”

Les didn’t know the man, but recognized his name (Jim had actually pastored our Haney Foursquare Church for eighteen months in 1969). Not knowing if the 68 year old man was joking or not, he responded, “Can I get your name and phone number and call you to meet this week?”

They did.

It happened as Jim promised.

Today was the third meeting of the newly merged congregation. What a delight to stand up front and pray with Les and Linda, Doug and Rebecca and Jim as we formalized the transfer of assets and responsibilities! This is the third church building the Foursquare Church has been given in the past few years—thank you Jesus!

August 26 – Cranbrook and Kimberley
After lunch with Les and Linda, Susan and I packed our car and headed east toward Cranbrook to visit our friends who pastor there—Gord and Jacqueline Henry. Because we haven’t had a day off in several weeks, we decided to take the trip more slowly, and stop for a night beside the tranquil water of Osoyoos Lake. I’m finally catching up on my blog while here.

Tonight we’ll arrive at beautiful Cranbrook. We’re looking forward to a barbeque tomorrow with Gordon’s leadership team.

August 28 – Cranbrook
Susan and I spent a very enriching day here with Pastor Gordon and Jacqueline Henry. We were delighted to tour their very large facility first. Several years ago Pastor Pat Kilpatrick was able to lead the church in the purchase of a 1928 brick school building (for $150,000). The 30,000 foot facility would be the dream of any pastor. There is a large classroom of space for every age group plus offices and a spacious gym turned sanctuary.

After our tour of Cranbrook and their church building, Gordon drove us to the quaint Bavarian town of Kimberley, where we saw the Funeral Chapel where Pastor Jason Silver is planting a new Foursquare Church. We loved our visit, especially the authentic apple strudel dessert.

After lunch Pastor Gordon had graciously invited their church leaders to a delicious barbecue at the church. After dinner I had the honour of sitting with several young enthusiastic pastors to share my vision for the Foursquare Church of Canada. The Cranbrook Church has a prolific vision on planting new churches throughout the east Kootenays—and they’ll do it. Then we met with their Church Council.

At about 8:00 Susan and I set out on the five hour drive to Osoyoos, so that we could be on time Wednesday to visit our Youth campers at Cultus Lake. Our drive was fast but fun!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Monday August 13

On Monday we must have gained a few pounds as we ate three long meals through the day. First we met Pete & Penny Dewart for coffee. Penny pastors the Harvest Foursquare Church in Kelowna. Her house fellowship has a big vision for the holiday centre of BC.

Bob and Glenda Stewart are presently the Unit leaders of the interior. We had a delightful catch-up conversation with them over lunch. Bob is back doing a great job of pastoring our Princeton Church. He actually pastors the town of Princeton—gateway to the interior of British Columbia.

In the evening Susan and I sat over dinner with Gordon and Kate Fralick. This was our first long conversation with this very uniquely gifted pastoral couple. Gord serves on our Foursquare Care Team and has the skills and heart to pastor in very challenging transitional churches.

Sitting with the King

Finally the third of my three beautiful triplets (the kingdom girls) has been born. When Susan and I returned from Israel, many large boxes of “Sitting with the King” were waiting outside my door. This third book in my Kingdom Trilogy is the practicum part of our training for rulership. Book I gave the theory, in Book II we got to walk beside the Master and watch him work, but now we get to do the work ourselves.

In this easy to read manual on Spiritual Warfare, I’ve briefly described the battle in which we are engaged and also about 80 spiritual weapons we’ve been issued as our aronal. You can order Sitting with the King from our church or just email me at and I’ll mail you one. (I’ll extend the offer I’ve made to our church of $40.00 to over all 3 of the books. Book III by itself will sell outside of stores for only $15.00).

Sunday August 12

After church today Susan and I hopped into the car and headed for Kelowna to visit a few more pastors. We had an awesome drive up the picturesque Coquihalla Highway to have dinner with a very beloved long time friend. I met Dottie Thiessen at summer camp in 1963. She was the very striking daughter of Dr. Raymond Cox, Foursquare church historian and kind of adopted son of Aimee Semple Mcpherson. So obviously shy me never actually spoke to her then. We had our chance to chat finally over dinner and enjoyed our visit immensely. Dottie pastors the Westbank Foursquare Church.

Saturday August 11

Today I took a quick flight over to Nanaimo where a wonderful thing happened, but also, something very sad took place. I’d never been on a seaplane before, so taking off in Vancouver was an exhilarating experience.

The happy event was a wedding. My good friend Gaetan DesJardine finally took the leap after meeting the love of his life, Lindsay Woods. Their names, “the Garden” and “the Woods” made a wonderful analogy of marriage. The couple was radiant as they gazed into each other’s eyes in the very impressive sanctuary of Maranatha Foursquare Church.

But the sad thing was, I lost my faithful Blackberry while at the service. I went through serious withdrawal returning, and living the next 3 days without it. Thankfully, Gaetan was able to bring it to me on Monday.

Friday August 10

On Friday, before our 10 hour flight home, (with delays and stopovers) we headed NE to the small prairie town of Beausejour (pleasant stay). Chris and Liza Jordan (I’m so sorry I erased their picture by accident) moved their family from Surrey to Beausejour only a few weeks ago to assume the pastorate that Roland and Shauna Rendell formerly led. We had an inspiring lunch with the Jordans’—they will accomplish excellent work in this community over the years ahead. Already their “community church” sits squarely in the center of the main street. Again Susan and I were duly impressed with another of our pastoral families.

Thursday August 9

Today we set out early for a 3 hour ride to Brandon, Manitoba to meet with Pastor Chester LeDuc and his team (Kevin and Lewis) for lunch.

Again the scenery in Manitoba was awesome. I loved the wheat fields, ripe for harvest. The weather has been good this year so the farmers are happy. Chester and his team have planted a new and growing church “living Springs” in Brandon (Last year they saw 140 people come to Jesus. They also are building a medical clinic in Mexico—quite an achievement for their young congregation!

Afer we arrived back home, Susan and I went for a walk along the romantic trail beside the Red River . A good pizza was the topping on a good day.

Wed. August 8

Our flight to Winnipeg was smooth and we loaded into our red Ford Taurus and set our GPS for the quaint Fort Garry Hotel. We met our dear friend Jim and Carol Rogers who’d been researching several hotels in Winnipeg for our 2008 Canadian Foursquare Conference.. After viewing their findings, we agreed that the lovely and elegant Fort Garry Hotel would be our first choice—the conference will likely be at the end of September, 2008.

In the morning, I headed for the “It’s a New Day” studios to tape a 3 programs with my dear friend Willard Thiessen We had a lot of fun talking about the Kingdom of God from my book “Dancing with the King”. Over lunch we agreed that I’d come back in September to do 3 more shows on my second book “Walking with the King”. I thoroughly enjoyed our chat—Willard is such an easy to talk to host! (The 3 shows will air in late September).

In the afternoon we settled on the Fort Garry as our conference hotel and then Jim, Carol and Susan and I hit the Olive Garden for dinner.

BC Day

We spent our BC Day, Sunday(August 5), in the air flying to beautiful Saskatchewan. I’ve really had to convert my views of the Prairies these last few days. For some reason I’d thought of Saskatchewan and Manitoba as a barren flat wasteland, especially in the summer (and in the winter).

The truth is, both Susan and I fell in love with the Prairies this week. No wonder the populace of what they jokingly call “The Gap” are so proud of their provinces. What gorgeous scenery.

On Monday, we began the journey in our Ford Escape by heading through little towns that have waved the Foursquare flag for generations. We sat with Morley and Kim Ayars and Amos Cunningham of Cando, Gary & Arlene Neigen of Wilkie,

and Bud and Evelyn Chartier who now live in North Battleford. Bud and Evelyn are both in their 80’s yet maintain the same radio program they began over 40 years ago to the farmers of Saskatchewan and around the world. These are 2 of the originals who began back in the days of Aimee Semple McPherson 60 years ago. What an honor it was to have lunch with them.

After a good visit, we headed north to one of the best kept secrets of Canada—the scenic Turtle Lake area. We arrived in the

beautifully forested resort in the early evening and met with our gracious hosts, Dan & Judy Gies. After dinner, Dan had his way with us—I think his goal was to scare the wits out of us BC suburbanites. First Dan too me for a ride in his son’s Corvette. I think he hit about 100 miles per hour in 15 seconds then looked over at his pale passenger with a big grin . After that we all loaded in to their speed boat for a cruise around Turtle Lake Again Dan opened the throttle and got a chuckle out of Susan’s and my reaction. What did he have up his sleeve next? I never would have guessed. While Susan and Judy visited Judy’s mom, Dan pulled out a 44 calibre pistol and said to me “let’s go for a walk in the woods!” I’d never shot a pistol before, but had seen plenty of cowboy movies so felt quite ready, when he instructed me to pull back the lock and aim at a 10 inch tree. “Bang!” The 5 pound pistol whipped as it shot out flames and smoke with the large bullet. My ears went deaf except for the ringing which lasted about 12 hours. Dan laughed as I examined the bullet hole clear through the birch tree trunk. He’d achieved his goal of shocking these two city kids with Prairie fun.

Dan’s and Judy’s dog (Jack Daniels, aka JD) is a dear old lady. She has mothered several litters of kittens (12) so much she even lactates and nurses them through their infancy. It’s quite a sight! We stayed at the guest suite of the Turtle Lake Mission that night. (13 & 14) then in the morning headed for Saskatoon. I’ve spent a few nights at Gary & Sherry Waugh’s (15) heritage home. (It originally belonged to John Diefenbaker’s mom). They are such a warn and congenial couple. After lunch we rushed out to meet Shaun & Robyn Schmidt for coffee, before leaving for the airport.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Saturday, August 4th

We returned home from our trip on Tuesday(July 31st) so this last help of the week I’ve been playing catch up. On Wednesday I went to my office at our Coquitlam Campus to do some work and found it torn down to the studs! We’re expanding our sanctuary again and so that means the loss of offices. Without a place to work, I called Tina at the National office in Surrey and she told me that the movers had just left with all the furniture and equipment and the building was empty. No sense in going there!

So, I headed to the new National offices (the address is #307-2099 Lougheed Highway, Port Coquitlam BC V3B 1A8. The phone number is 604-941-8414, Fax 604-941-8415; Web is Nothing had arrived yet and the offices are being reconfigured. Studs were bare there also. So I headed to our Poco Campus where I was happily greeted by about 100 DVBS kids enjoying a great day! That’s why I spent the rest of the week working out of our home!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

We had to have all of our stuff on the bus by 6:30 this morning because we were going to change hotels. Our first stop was Bet Shean, which is an amazing archeological dig that gives a picture of life 3500 years ago.

Bet Shean is a ? (a high hill with several layers of successive civilizations piled on top of each other). Although some of our group were saying they’d seen enough old rocks for a lifetime, this was a fascinating walk through history.

We then set out in the blazing heat to Gideon’s spring where God chose 300 of his men to fight the Mideonites. Whoever lapped the water out of his hand life my brother Rob was chosen to fight on the memorable battle.

Our ride to the top of the Golan Heights was impressive. From the high plateau we could see the entire 14 mile long Sea of Galilee. We could clearly see where Jesus taught, delivered the demoniac of Gederenes and spend most of his days. Our hotel is Tiberius was wonderful. We sat outside with our friends on the edge of the Sea of Galilee to eat dinner

Saturday, July 28th

Again we had to be packed and on the bus early today for our ride to Tel Aviv. It was another full day of touring. Ceasarea was Herod’s magnificent summer home. Awesome ruins helped us to see the extravagance of his life Mt. Carmel was where Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal. To be there and feel the story as it was being read was very moving.

Nazareth was Jesus’ hometown where he returned to announce his being the Messiah. After our visit we drove high up on the Precipice where his former friends tried to throw him off.

On the way back to Tel Aviv we stopped at Joppa where Jonah set off on his adventure with the fish and where Paul’s eyes were opened to his call to the Gentiles.

We stayed overnight in beautiful Tel Aviv, the largest and most secular city of Israel. In the morning we flew to New York, arriving at 4:30 in the morning. A couple of hours later we got into a small bus for a private tour of the Big Apple. It was a fun day of seeing the sites (Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Ground Zero) and of course, shopping.

By midnight we were on our final plane to fly home. We arrived at 4:30 Tuesday morning exhausted but fully satisfied.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I loved today! We set off at dawn on a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee to the North End. Along the way we stopped the boat, shut off the engine and after worshipping a while, sat in complete silenced on the Sea. It was an awesome experience. Along the way we stopped at the place where Jesus gave the Beatitudes the seaside where Jesus told Peter he loved him even after he’d cursed him—they ate fish together on this very spot.

Then we visited Capernaum where Jesus spent most of his time and Peter lived. We also saw a 2000 year old boat which has recently been excavated from the sands of Galilee. It was like the one Jesus used to teach from.

One of the highlights of our visit was at the Jordan River. I had the priviliege of baptizing 10 of our church in the river. The water was bath-tub warm and a large catfish swarmed around our legs.