Wednesday, February 28, 2007

the almond branch of Williams Lake

so, I'm visiting one of my oldest (time related not age) and bestest friends, Denise Walker in Williams Lake. Did I mention her name is Denise Walker?
Anyway, this is a very interesting trip for several reasons:

1. It feels a bit like home.

2. God gave me a word about the 1st chapter of Jeremiah and the 'almond branch' that he saw... it means 'wakeful tree' and speaks of God's word bursting forth (the almond tree is the first to awaken after winter)... and I felt like the almond branch is what God is saying to Williams Lake... an awakening...

3. There are so many people here who are evidence of the faithfulness of God's word... it's incredible to remember that the Kingdom is about a small seed, not a huge work... it's a wild Kingdom (Shane Claiborne suggests in the Irresistable Revolution).. and there is no end to the surprise of where the seed sprouts.

4. I'm visiting a place where saying good-bye was difficult at the time when saying good-bye to another community will be as difficult at this time, and it's reminding me that God is faithful... unless the Lord builds the house, we labour in vain.

God bless Williams Lake!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Human Trafficking

God, please free the victims of human trafficking around the world. Forgive us for our indifference... ignite a passion in us to rise up and act justly... let the Spirit be upon us to free the captives, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Stop The Traffik

No Slavery

We can make a difference... join the fight.

Wilberforce Rocks

A new movie on the life of William Wilberforce and his fight to abolish the slave trade comes out tomorrow!!
You may also want to take a look at a newly published book on his life and work. One critique says the only word to describe William is 'Great': here's a sample of that article:

So it is with William Wilberforce (1759-1833), a man of surpassing greatness – as Eric Metaxas makes so plain in his new biography, Amazing Grace: William Wilberforce and the Heroic Campaign to End Slavery (HarperSanFrancisco). He gave God the glory, yet the glory of God was rarely manifested so plainly in a human life. A politician of genius and stature, tipped to be British Prime Minister and therefore leader of the greatest empire on earth, he opted instead for a long and often lonely campaign that had two special purposes (or “Great Objects,” as he put it): to reform the conduct of his (permissive) generation, and to abolish slavery.

check out this site, the amazing change and join the fight today!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Ash Wednesday

So today is Ash Wednesday.
For leadership class at the War College we looked at Martin Luther King Jr. and then a warrior showed me a flyer for A Lenten Vigil (to stand in solidarity with those with whom Jesus identified - the poor, the homeless, the shunned, the aged, the sick, the foreigners, the criminal outcasts - THE SILENCED.) What better way to celebrate and learn from Martin King Jr. then to join a demonstration!

It was in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery during lunch (12-1pm)... so we went! (well, some of us...). A bishop from the Lutheran church was there to put ashes on our foreheads and bless us... it was REALLY COOL. It's every wednesday during lent... so if you are in the area - come on down (noon - on the steps Robson street side).

Here's the liturgy... if you haven't celebrated the start of lent then now might be a great time!
Scripture: Micah 6:6-8; Luke 6:20-31; silence.

The People Confess:
All: We confess to you and to one another and to the whole communion of saints in heaven that we have sinned by our own fault in thoguht, word and deed by what we have done adn what we have left undone.

Priest: We have not loved you with our whole heart, mind and strength. We have not loved our nieighbours as ourselves. We have not forgiven others as we have been forgiven. We confess to God.
All: Have mercy on us.

Priest: We have been deaf to your call to serve others as Christ has served us. We have not been true to your mind. We have grieved your spirit - we confess to God.
All: Have mercy on us.

Priest: We confess to you, O God, all our past unfaithfulness. The pride, hypocrisy and impatience of our lives we confess to God.
All: Have mercy on us.

Priest: Our self indulgent appetites and our ways of exploiting other people; our indifference to the poor, the homeless, we confess to the Lord.
All: Have mercy on us.

Priest: Our intemperate love of worldly goods, and our dishonesty in work and daily life, we confess to God.
All: Have mercy on us.

Priest: Our indifference to political process, our lack of concern for social direction and our blind acceptance that our voice will mean little. We confess to God.
All: Have mercy on us.

Priest: Accept our repentance, Lord for the wrongs we have done and for our blindness to human need and suffering in our city and our province and the whole world and our indifference to injustice and cruelty. This we confess to God.
All: Have mercy on us.

Priest: For our waste and pollution of your creation and our lack of conern for those who will come after us, we confess to God.
All: Have mercy on us.

Priest: Restore us, fill us with your compassion. Give us hope to work for your unfolding rule.
All: Amen.

Priest: God is rich in mercy and forgives us all our sins. God calls us to a renewed life that seeks justice, reconciliation and peace. You are forgiven, NOW WALK IN THE NEW LIFE.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

From Beach to Preach

It's been an awesome time in Hawaii... God has certainly been teaching me tonnes.
The other night we went to Waianae (an economically challenged part of the island), and as part of the evangelism strategy of Aggressive Christianity Councils this weekend we took a team of warriors with a Canteen full of home made yummy spaghetti for our homeless friends on the beach. While we were there Linsey (revolution warrior) suggested we stay for the night (we were on to preach at the church on the beach the next morning) and I took her challenge. So we stayed the night. Nothing but our clothes (and a borrowed hoody). That night a homeless women gave us her tent to use, and some other friends we made hooked us up with blankets and we had a wonderful time with Jesus. All our needs were met. Our friends even loaded us up with puka shell necklaces and priceless shell finds from months at the beach. Certainly God was present with us and the learning curve is that I'd like to live open handed like my friends on the beach.
Sometimes the things we own constrain us from things like:
1. sharing
2. believing
3. relying
4. freedom

I gave my son some of the shells from my new friends - and that same night he went around and gave one to all of his new friends.... at first I was like - 'what is he doing?' and then I remembered the words of Jesus, 'freely you have received, freely give..' and I realized that my son grasped the spirit of the gifts even more than I have.
What have you been given that you should freely give?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Revolution Hawaii

Our friends Rob and Denise Noland are leading the charge here at Revolution Hawaii... it is a disciplined, spiritual, authentic community... a great team of revolutionaries who are learning about going deeper into God and wider into their communities and the world. The last week they spent homeless... trying to both understand, relate and impact the homeless community. If I were 18 years old + and wondering what to do with a year of my life... I'd consider Revolution Hawaii... surely a year that will change the context of the rest of your life. Check it out:

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dance upon injustice

Hat tip to Salvokat... and great pics too. A great picture and a great idea... let's dance upon injustice.
Good theme tonight actually, because I saw the movie Stomp The Yard... WOW.. I'd like to dance like that on injustice.
God release the gifts that will help us to dance... let this generation move freely and with joy - keep the enemy under our feet! Everybody dance now!!
If you need to learn some justice dance moves and are around the Vancouver area... check out RAW (details at now they CAN dance.

Friday, February 9, 2007

New Thing

Preached at our weekly kneedrill tonight. The Lord downloaded a song for the occasion.
The jist of the preach is from Isaiah 43: 'forget the former things. See I'm doing a new thing."
and Jeremiah 1:10,11 (the almond tree: the most wakeful tree - first to spring to life after winter and the first to bear fruit).
Acts 10 (our cell talk for this week) reminds us of Peter's 'awakening' to the New Kingdom of God... complete with the priesthood of all believers. I believe 614 Vancouver is in the season of 'the new thing' and the almond branch will be planted and bear much fruit.

Here's the words to the song (as soon as I figure out how to post an mp3 you can have a listen!) ;-)

Verse 1
When Moses stood before you on the dirty, holy ground
You spoke to him out of the fire, turned his life right side round.
From shepherd man to freedom fighter – a new nation was found.
Today you look around and say, where are those people now?
Gathered ‘round burning bushes waiting for a sound…

Behold I’m doing a new thing, doing things a new way
Forget the former things (you say)
They were made to pass away
‘Cause I’m doing a new thing, doing things a new way
Stop looking far behind you
Get those old things out of my way

Verse 2
Joshua fought at Jericho – blew the trumpet and the walls fell down
He took the land that was promised -laid before you on the ground
A might warrior strong and true led a generation after you.
Now we look at mighty walls – standing there oh so tall
Sometimes we’re even marching – but those walls they just won’t fall

Verse 3
Peter and Silas, in the prison – Holy Sprit in power given
The Newborn church, sharing, giving, willing, living, lives ablazing
From scared and tight to peace and light, the transformation clear
A new day dawned upon the world – why do we still fear?
Huddled in the upper rooms praying, but no wind or fire near…

Behold I’m doing a new thing, doing things a new way
Forget the former things (you say)
They were made to pass away
‘Cause I’m doing a new thing, doing things a new way
Just take a look ahead of you – I’m there, blazing the way

Behold, a brand new day. Today.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Grace Mansion Opens!

Today was the official opening of Grace Mansion; an 85 unit safe housing complex in the heart of the downtown eastside.
The picture is the view when you are looking out from the facility... (I'll post a better one when I get it)! Suffice to say it's the same infamous corner where Robert Picton use to pick up the women he later murdered - the spot is now under redemption!

This is a dream project that was birthed by Col. Don Copple, and constructed from the grassroots with the help of Major Bill Mollard (and his team) and the 614 crew (with turnover a mere few months... amazing). With the current housing crisis in our city, we believe this place is an important and practical part of how God wants to fulfill the promises of Isaiah 61:4, 'rebuild, renew, and restore' the ruined cities. Isn't it incredible what God has in store for the future of this place?
I'm excited about the future here - please pray for continued strength and unity of the leadership in these parts. Major Winn Blackman prayed today that those working in the facility would have a 'baptism of love'... I'm echoing her prayer... that it would actually live up to it's name; God grant it.

Majors Ian and Kathleen McAlister are leading the charge from here (pray for them they have a big adjustment ahead of them)!
YEAH GOD! We believe your promises for Vancouver.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


I was walking home from the War Room the other day. I kept seeing stuff that moved my spirit and filled me with hope.
It was cool. All around me (in the two blooks from the rooming house to my apartment) everything seems grey, dull, and well - nasty. I pass by abandoned buildings, drug addicts, bars and a strip club. But that morning I kept seeing COLOUR.... tonnes of it... words like LOVE, JUSTICE, HOPE every few doors was a new message from God. It was SO COOL... and the thing about it is that I knew who was responsible... it was hopelessly, devoted, eternally optimistic warriors, dedicated to the rebuilding, restoring and renewing of the devestated cities... especially the downtown eastside. I was assaulted with Love. It was beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes, and a fresh hope to my walk. What a witness!

Here are the pics. (For more check out Olivia's blog).
A big shout-out to Olivia and her warrior gang for marking the Kingdom of God in blazing colour on the dull landscape of a sinful world. You guys rock. I'm proud to be associated with the likes of you. May all your words/witness bear fruit that lasts.
God grant it.

The big news...

It is now official that we are under farewell orders. We are appointed to the Australian South Territory under the formidable leadership of Commissioner Knaggs.

Our appointments are:
Stephen - Assistant Personel Secretary: Leadership/Officer Development
Danielle - Territorial Social Justice Director

They are officially effective March 1st - but depend on VISA and travel times...

Your prayers at this time for the transition of our ministry and our families would be appreciated.
We are believing for His Kingdom come... to the ends of the earth.

Great Grace

Monday, February 5, 2007

Death to self

"You and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness."
C.S. Lewis - The Weight of Glory
what's the strongest spell? Love. Perfect Love. Perfect love is manifest in holiness. Fearless living.
Here's a series of photos... it is an enactment of dying to self and living again.

A fearless volunteer went first - on the holiness table he died to himself and his sin, to death, the law and rebellion. And then after declaring himself dead... we all declared him to live again to newness of life - resurrection power, to live free from sin, self, the world and the enemy... to live unto God. To love without fear.
I think it was the best use of the holiness table I've ever seen... the idea is taken from early convents when Nuns would take their vows. They would be declared dead - covered with a black cloth and then they would sing a requiem... candles lit - the whole thing - like a real funeral. Then they would live again to a new life... they'd be given a new name (Mother Theresa... not many remember her 'old' name) and a habit (new clothes) and would live a new life as a nun. Wow.
That's some kind of spell... dying to the evil enchantment of worldliness is an odd way to wake up - but it just might be the only way to stay awake for long.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

This Present Evil

If you've been reading along with the comments on the last blog, you will realize that Hell as a hard to believe reality is a popular topic. I'm also the big 'Grace' girl around these parts - so it's an interesting conversation to be having on my blog (sounds like regular armybarmy fare to me!) :-)

One of the comments suggests that we could think about evil in terms of the way we think of the Kingdom of God.
We understand that God's kingdom is both present and future. He is here (in our lives, in our world) but He is also coming.
It's the NOW and NOT YET of the fullness of God's Kingdom. Evil is also present (no doubt our generation can point to it around the world even now); if you are in doubt you may want to pick up 'Shake Hands With The Devil: the failure of humanity in Rwanda' the book by Romeo Dallaire. In the introduction he says people say you can't live through that sort of evil (Rwandan genocide) and still believe in God. Dallaire says he believes in God more now than ever before because he 'shook hands with the Devil'.
By downplaying evil (and even denying it's power) we do a great damage to a Just God and we discredit people's understanding of the world. Surely the modern intellectual approach to 'sin' has left us (the church) feeling stupid, irrelevant and judgemental when we speak of it, but for silly reason. Look around - sin is explained and shouting from all corners of the earth.... what do we do with evil? is a question that makes moderns look dumb for dismissing it a generation ago.

I've been reading a book by Os Guinness called, Unspeakable: Facing up to evil in an age of genocide and terror.
It's an interesting connect on our conversation about Hell.
Perhaps we do a great diservice to people who understand that evil is present in the world - but we don't suggest a final solution or ending of it. How can we understand the Kingdom of God in fullness without Hell? Shouldn't there be a final reckoning... wouldn't that be the Just thing to do?

I think Hell is uncomfortable because our world has told us that to believe in it is too hard. We live in a time (C.S. Lewis predicted it in his book Men Without Chests) where the perpetrator has become the victim... where no-one is held to account it seems because we dismiss our inclination toward what is evil. I think this has to stop. Not because I want to preach 'hell and brimstone' again - but because our world needs some hard answers to some hard truths.

let's stop pretending... everyone knows we aren't wearing any clothes... and tell the truth about the end of evil and those who do it: Hell.
check this link for a great book review on unspeakable:

Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Road to Hell

“In answer to your inquiry, I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”- General William Booth

Had a few interesting talks with Doug Burr while he was here on Hell. It seems hell is becoming an 'optional' belief in some circles of the sally ann. It is tempting. How could a loving God reserve that sort of judgement for his own children?
C.S. Lewis suggested hell was reserved for those who were 'rebels to the end'. The sort of children who would not relent, not repent, and never, ever ask Jesus for anything.

I was wondering what Robert Picton's (Canada's worst serial killer on trial now in Vancouver) mother thinks of the trial. Would she want her son punished? Would she support justice, even if it meant the punishment of her own son? I don't know.

What I do know is that I trust God to make the decisions that I cannot. I trust God to decide the righteous and holy thing to do. I trust God to determine the eternal outcome of people's souls. I trust Him with my own.
A favourite saying of mine goes, "Heaven isn't a cash payment for following Jesus. It's just where the road goes."

If heaven is not a cash payment for following Christ, then maybe hell isn't a punishment for those who reject Christ; it's just where that road takes you?
'rebellion leads to death'.
Repent. Live. Follow Jesus. Trust God.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Thursday, February 1, 2007

1st 30 day experiment over

I'm on a free day.
That's right. Yesterday was the last day of my first 30 day experiment of 2007.
It was, 'what would my sister eat' month. My sister is an inspiration for healthy eating and personal discipline.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went.
I think I've actually formed many a good eating habit and broken a few bad ones.

My next experiment is '30 days in the war room' which technically (since it's Feb.) is only 28 days (but, hey - I'm no legalist). The war room is our 24/7 prayer centre. Pray for me (I'll most likely be praying for you).
I will be away for some of the time, so, I'm going to try and do 3 hours of prayer on the road (which will no doubt be a lot harder).

Anyway, I'll keep you updated... I did the body - now the soul.