Friday, November 28, 2008

Philippines 2008


November 28, 2008

I had an awakening yesterday.

It came in a very unusual way.

A friend of mine (another pastor) made an appointment to see me for lunch. After we sat down in my office to talk, he smiled and said, “I have a gift for you.”

I like gifts, so I smiled broadly and expectantly as Sam pulled out of his bag a big, brown, furry beaver. It was only a stuffed toy, but looked very real. He handed the rodent to me and I cuddled it close. I loved my friend’s thoughtfulness, but did not immediately understand why he gave me the beaver.

“As President of the Canadian Foursquare churches, I thought that it would be fitting for you to have Canada’s national emblem in your office. This little beaver is a picture of hard-working and wise leaders across our nation who are bringing change to their world.”

I was deeply touched by his gift. Bucky the beaver is sitting on my desk staring at me right now as I write this article.

The awakening came in that I’d never given more than a passing thought to the life lessons beavers teach us—even though they are our national animal and are pictured on every Canadian nickel.

This afternoon, especially with my furry pet looking at me with his big brown eyes, I began thinking about how inspiring beavers really are. Here are seven attributes , that go beyond their profitability to the early settlers of Canada.

Beavers are famously busy. “As busy as a beaver.” They tackle huge obstacles with enthusiasm and diligence.

But better than simply being busy, they are purposeful. Second only to humans, beavers have an uncanny ability to manipulate and change their environment. With their strong teeth and powerful jaws, they turn huge trees into dams. They can change the course of a river, make a meadow or turn fields and forests into large ponds. They are not stopped by obstacles—rather, they use them for their greater purposes.

Beavers build homes for their extended families. They are monogamous, family-focused and care deeply for the propagation of the next generation.

They have transparent eyelids that act as goggles when swimming underwater. I love the fact that these fifty pound rodents can see where other animals would not be able to see. We as leaders need to have vision where those who follow may not see clearly.

Beavers protect one another. Simply by slapping their leathery tails loudly, their friends and co-workers are able to hide and be safe from their enemies.

They are wise enough to build canals so they can float building materials long distances to where they are needed. They also look ahead and prepare for long cold winters by storing sticks and logs underwater for family to feed on when the grounds are covered in snow and ice.
I love my new pet. My grandchildren will ask me if they can have him, but I’m not giving him up. Maybe I’ll buy them each a beaver Webkin for Christmas and teach them about our national emblem.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Courts of Praise, Saskatoon SK

October 2008 Installation of Pastor Larry & Becky Thomas

We headed for Saskatoon immediately after our Pastor's Conference and had the privilege of ordaining Pastor Larry Thomas as Lead Pastor of Courts of Praise Foursquare Church. The church has just purchased a beautiful new facility in Saskatoon and holds great promise for a bright future.

Foursquare Pastor's Conference, Winnipeg MB

October 2008

What an awesome time we enjoyed at our National Canadian Foursquare Pastor's Conference in the beautiful Fort Garry Hotel.

Our very special guests were former Missionaries to Panama (and International Missions Directors) Leland & Barbara Edwards.

As a boy, I have wonderful memories of the Edwards family visiting our small Vancouver church and telling fascinating stories from the 1920's-1950's in Panama. It was a delight and an honor for Leland & Barbara to grace us with their memories of Foursquare history and challenge us to faithfulness. (CD's are available of their historical overview of the past 80 years).

Jerry & Barbara Cook have been mentors of Susan & me over the past 40 years. Jerry's book "Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness" was a pivotal prophetic word for the charismatic church of the 1970's. I have available my 2 hour interview with Jerry on DVD if you email me.

One of the highlights of our week, for me, was when Virgil & Christina Dawson presented me with a native blanket that Virgil had made. This ceremony was very significant. Giving me the tribal blanket was a sign of accepting me as an honorary brother in their tribe. I was deeply touched by Christina's love & sincerity.

Young Adult Retreat

September 2008

Susan & I were invited to be guests at our Foursquare Young Adult retreat outside of Princeton this September. How inspiring for us to see this 150, 20-30 year old adults worshiping God with enthusiasm. Our theme was the Foursquare Gospel.

Jesus - Savior
Jesus - Baptizer in the Holy Spirit
Jesus - Healer
Jesus - Coming King


In early August I was privileged to fly to Ethiopia for a couple of weeks. My mission was to serve a group of Pastors & leaders there, and to begin the process of enfolding their churches into the Foursquare Gospel Church.

I loved every minute I spent with my new friends. They were gracious, passionate, loving & intelligent. Here are a few pictures I snapped of my visit.

My hosts Abraham, Assifa, & Samuel

Streets of Addis Abbaba


The Orthodox Church

Pastor Abraham & his family


Rural Life


Delicious Ethiopian Cuisine